The Government’s Healthy Eating Strategy “aims to improve the food environment in Canada to make it easier for Canadians to make the healthier choice”;
The “What we heard report; A Food Policy for Canada” calls for “increasing access to affordable, nutritious and safe food among vulnerable groups such as children”, and communicates that “during consultations, many specific calls for the implementation of school food programming were made”;
In 2015, the preventable cost of nutrition-related disease in Canada was estimated at $13.8 billion annually, putting the health of children unnecessarily at risk;
UNICEF’s 2017 Report Card ranked Canada 37th of 41 rich countries with regards to children’s food access;
School food programs improve children’s nutrition, long-term health, school performance, attendance, social cohesion and contribute to local economies, as recognized by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (1997);
Grassroots organizations, charities, and provincial funding enable one in five children in Canada to access a school food program; and
A federal investment would leverage these efforts to expand their impact and improve all children’s health and educational outcomes, lowering future healthcare costs while supporting farmers and local economies.
We, the undersigned, residents and citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Health to implement an adequately-funded national cost-shared universal healthy school food program, enabling children to develop the food and nutrition habits they need to lead healthy lives and succeed at school. This aligns with Senator Eggleton’s Senate Motion No. 358 in June 2018, so that Canada joins the G7 and many countries with a national school food program.
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