Karina Gould, Secretary of State for Families, Children and Social Development, announced this week the opening of consultations with Canadians seeking input on a national school nutrition policy to meet the needs of children and families while laying the groundwork for a future where more children have access to healthy food Eating at school in Canada.
A national school feeding policy must address the diverse realities of children in Canada, their families and their schools, and build constructively on existing programs.
Get the views
The government wants to hear the diverse perspectives of Canadians to learn from their experiences with school feeding programs. In addition, the online questionnaire, a series of thematic roundtables with key stakeholders such as the Breakfast Club of Canada and the Ottawa Network for Education, as well as teachers, school administrators, parents, children and young people, were launched.
The government also works directly with indigenous partners, provinces and territories.
“All children should have access to the healthy foods they need to grow and learn. I look forward to hearing the diverse views Canadians have on what they want and what they want from a school nutrition policy. A national approach to school meals could improve the overall health of our children while they study, opening up a brighter future for them and Canada,” said Karina Gould, Minister for Families, Children and Social Development.
The 2019 budget provided more than US$134 million over five years to support Canada’s food policies to strengthen food systems and improve food security. The budget also included a commitment to work with provinces and territories to create a national school feeding program.
The 2022 budget reaffirmed the commitments contained in the December 2021 mandate letters from the Minister for Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister for Agriculture and Food, namely to work with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous partners and stakeholders to develop a national school nutrition policy and investigate how more Canadian children can get nutritious food in school ‘school’.
According to the 2020 Canadian Income Survey, one in ten people with a family was unable to afford the groceries they needed.
Food insecurity is particularly high in the north. In 2019, 46.1% of households in Nunavut, 23.1% in the Northwest Territories, and 15.3% in Yukon were moderately or severely food insecure.