Canada Launches National School Food Program

by staff

In what it says is a bid to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the Government of Canada’s launch of a National School Food Program Monday. This initiative, included in Budget 2024, is set to receive a $1 billion investment over five years, aiming to provide meals to an additional 400,000 children annually, beyond those already benefiting from existing school food programs.

Trudeau emphasized the importance of this program, stating, “The National School Food Program is a game changer. This is about fairness and doing what’s right for our kids to get the best start in life.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, highlighted the pressing need for such measures, noting, “Today, the rising price of groceries is making it tough for families, especially Millennial parents, to afford the food their kids need.”

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jenna Sudds, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the crucial role of nutritious meals in children’s educational journey: “We’re creating a National School Food Program because kids learn better on a full stomach. This Program will have an incredible impact, supporting parents with the higher cost of groceries, and giving children every opportunity to learn, grow, and reach their full potential.”

The government points to studies showing adequate nutrition is linked to better academic performance, with students who have access to nutritious meals achieving higher grades compared to their peers. Moreover, initiatives like the National School Food Program act as social equalizers, supporting children from lower-income families and marginalized communities.

The program, in addition to alleviating food insecurity among children is also designed to stimulate economic growth by supporting local farmers and sustainable food systems, the government says.

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