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Topic Brief from Canadian Feed the Children

Article contributed by Sydney Richards, Manager of Indigenous Partnerships & Programs at Canadian Feed the Children, member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food’s Steering Committee, and Co-Chair of the Indigenous School Food Circle

In March 2023 Canadian Feed The Children (CFTC) released this topic brief, There’s no such thing as a free lunch. But there should be.

As a member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, CFTC shares the Coalition’s belief that Canada could do more to address child hunger and fully leverage school food programs as one of the most effective tools to improve children’s well-being and healthy development.

CFTC was pleased to see progress being made toward the Government of Canada’s long- promised National Food Policy with public consultations held in late 2022. But, we still haven’t seen a concrete action plan. Canada’s patchwork approach to school food programs is in urgent need of mending and the need is growing every day, especially in Indigenous communities that are facing the highest food prices and the lowest family incomes since 2015 [1][2].

CFTC's topic brief places a particular focus on Indigenous communities and explores the current context, latest research, and best practices that can help ensure children are fed and nourished year-round with well-designed, well-managed school food programs that are:

  • Universal

  • Health-promoting

  • Connected to their community

  • Sustainable

  • Respectful of local and cultural food practices

  • Comprehensive

  • Curriculum-aligned


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