Unifor welcomes federal support for a national food program

Source: Unifor National

Unifor applauds the federal government’s announcement that the upcoming budget will include a $1 billion investment to help provide healthy meals for children and assist families during the affordability crisis.

“With high grocery costs and a surge in food bank usage across the country – with one-third of them being children – we need a structured national school nutrition program now,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“We encourage all premiers to join with the federal government to support and build a national universal school nutrition program. This is no time for jurisdictional squabbles, this is a time to support families and feed kids.”

“So many working-class families will benefit from this. It’s good for kids, good for parents and good for our entire society,” Payne added.

The $1 billion investment, announced April 1, will be spread out over five years. The federal government said it would give access to healthier meals to roughly 400,000 children who aren’t being served by existing school-based programs, and who tend to come from Black, Indigenous and people of colour families and lower-income families.

The federal government’s plan is to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous groups to expand their existing programs.

The funding makes good on the Liberals’ 2021 election platform, where the Trudeau government promised to invest $1 billion in a national school meal program over five years.

As it stands, Canada is the only country in the G7 that doesn’t have a national school nutrition program, says the Breakfast Club of Canada.

“We know that good nutrition affects children’s overall health, well-being, and learning. We cannot grow leaders of tomorrow on empty stomachs.”