Updated: Aug 19, 2020
The 2019 federal election campaign is officially underway, with voting day just over a month away on October 21, 2019.
The Coalition’s #NourishKidsNow campaign, which has been calling on the federal government to make a cost-shared investment in healthy universal school food programs, gained some exciting traction earlier this year. Now, with an election upon us, it’s a great time to keep school food in the conversation.
In the spring, an e-petition for a National School Food Program that was presented in the House of Commons garnered over 3,500 signatures. Let's keep this momentum going through Food Secure Canada’s Eat Think Vote campaign and explore whether our federal candidates recognize the importance of—and value in—investing in school food.
Eat Think Vote aims to make sure that food is an election issue, with events across the country bringing together community members to talk with their federal candidates about food issues that matter to them. To get involved: attend an event, spread the word, or organize your own event. The growing calendar of Eat Think Vote events can be found here.
It’s the perfect platform to ask your candidates if they think Canada should join the rest of the G7 — that’s the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France and Italy — in having a cost shared national universal school food program.
If you’re interested in attending an event or engaging with your candidates about food-related issues, Eat Think Vote policy backgrounders have been developed as a starting point to help inform these vital discussions.
Among the backgrounders is one on healthy school food. The backgrounder explains that a cost-shared investment in healthy universal school food programs would address many of the issues that Canadians have identified as priorities across the Food Policy for Canada’s four themes: food security, health and food safety, environment, and economic growth.
The backgrounder also details some startling facts; for instance, one third of students in elementary schools and two-thirds of students in secondary schools do not eat a nutritious breakfast before school.
From improving food security, public health, and students’ physical & mental health, to supporting the environment and the economy by procuring local food from local producers, a National School Food Program is a win no matter which way you look at it.
If you agree that all of our major political parties should be in support of access to healthy food at all Canadian schools, be sure to make some noise this election season and let’s #NourishKidsNow while we #EatThinkVote!
In addition to reaching out to your federal candidates, you can get involved with the Nourish Kids Now campaign by becoming a Coalition for Healthy School Food member or an endorser, signing up for our newsletters, and/or making some noise with us on social media!