Updated: Feb 4, 2022
In August 2021 the Coalition for Healthy School Food submitted its Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2022 Budget. We used this opportunity to ask the Government of Canada to:
Allocate $2.7 billion in Budget 2022 as a Year 1 investment towards establishing a cost-shared, universal School Food Program for Canada with strong federal standards to improve the health of our children, support families experiencing food insecurity, advance economic recovery and reduce the $13.8 billion/year in costs of treatment and productivity losses due to nutrition-related chronic disease in Canada.
Specifically, we identified how such an investment would:
Help the government meet key federal policy priorities including its 2030 Sustainable Development Goal commitments, and enable Canada to join the rest of the G7 countries in investing in school food.
Support job creation in agriculture, food service, construction and other hard-hit sectors while helping to strengthen the health and well-being of students, their families and communities.
Help the country recover from Covid-19. This investment would help students feel connected and that they belong; feelings that have been eroded during Covid. A School Food Program for Canada would have a positive impact on families, particularly women who invest significant time preparing food for school. This initiative, along with childcare, would be a key component of a Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) approach that would support women who have been hard hit during Covid as they return to work.
Take pressure off of the family budget and be a support for the millions of children and youth who are unable to access healthy food at this time.
Read our full pre-budget submission, which shares more details about how the development of a School Food Program for Canada could help advance the health and wellbeing of children, youth and families in Canada as well as the Canadian economy.