Municipal Support Continues to Grow for a National School Food Program

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: July 16, 2020

Categories: Good Food Ideas for Kids / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Members / Schools

The Coalition for Healthy School Food blog has just shared some exciting news on how momentum has been building at the municipal level in support of a national school food program.

As of this month, motions have now been passed in support of a national school food program by the City of Toronto, Toronto District School Board, City of Toronto Board of Health, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Food Policy Council, City of Vancouver, BC School Trustees Association, Vancouver Board of Education, Annapolis Community Health Board and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Earlier this year, on March 27th, the Toronto District School Board wrote to the Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and Minister of Finance Bill Morneau asking that the government move forward with the funding and implementation of a national school food program.

The TDSB letter shares, “We know that well-nourished children are more ready and able to learn, both physically and mentally. However, we also know many families in Toronto do not have the means and/or the time to provide their children with the most nutritious foods to support their learning and wellbeing. A national food program would help address the inequities of food security in our city and provide educational opportunities for our students to learn about healthy diets and sustainable food systems through practice and school culture.”

More recently, on June 24th, the Mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: Taking Steps Toward a National Cost-Shared Universal Healthy School Food Program.

The letter from Mayor Stewart concludes, “With income and food insecurity increasing among Canadians, a school food program on a national scale is essential to address inequality and ensure all Canadian children learn basic food skills and have access to healthy meals that support classroom learning. This type of program will also support Canada’s national economic recovery from COVID-19 through the expansion of the agricultural sector, as well as increasing local food security and the resilience of local communities to respond to future emergencies.”

To read more about the increasing number of municipalities, school boards and community health boards that are expressing support for a national universal healthy school food program, check out the Coalition’s blog post here.

To get involved and help advocate for a National School Food Program yourself, be sure to join the Nourish Kids Now campaign.