[PRESS RELEASE] – Food Secure Canada celebrates historic win for school food



Food Secure Canada celebrates historic win for school food


MONTREAL, APRIL 2, 2024 – Food Secure Canada (FSC) joins the Coalition for Healthy School Food (‘Coalition’) in welcoming the announcement of a National School Food Program, with one billion dollars of federal financing over five years. These new funds will support the provision of healthy snacks and meals for 400,000 additional students in primary and high schools across the country, adding much needed support to existing school food programs run by Indigenous communities, grassroots organizations, schools, charities and municipal governments. As recommended by the Coalition, the program will be rolled out through Provinces, Territories and Indigenous communities.


This is a big win that represents, I believe, the single biggest investment in food policy in Canadian history” said Marissa Alexander, Co-Executive Director of Food Secure Canada. “It is a shining example of what can happen when people come together from coast to coast to coast to advocate for programming that can bring fair, healthy and sustainable food to children and their communities.” 


FSC has championed healthy school food for decades, with the Coalition emerging from FSC’s Halifax Assembly in 2014. FSC has hosted the Coalition ever since, in recent years under the dynamic leadership of Coordinator Debbie Field who built it up into a formidable force for advocacy currently numbering close to 300 member organizations and thousands of supporters. The Coalition has been advocating for a program that is in line with its 8 Guiding Principles, specifically that supports healthy eating, is universally accessible without stigma, is cost-shared, flexibly supports different program models to meet the unique needs of communities, is controlled by Indigenous leadership in Indigenous communities, is a driver of community economic development, promotes food literacy, and is supported by conflict-of-interest safeguards. 


In addition to the National School Food Program, this government promised to create a National School Food Policy. FSC looks forward to this, the ways in which it can both align with the Coalition’s important principles, and meet broader food policy goals with regards to support for local food systems and ecological sustainability. School food was one of the concrete promises of the 2019 Food Policy for Canada and was championed by its Advisory Council. Following this win, and in the context of the forthcoming Budget, FSC looks for a renewed commitment to the Food Policy’s ambitious vision and more resources to implement transformational programs.


“Food Secure Canada is proud of its involvement in supporting, hosting and participating in the Coalition for Healthy School Food since it was founded”, said Wade Thorhaug, Co-Executive Director of Food Secure Canada. “Today we celebrate this historic moment with thousands of parents, teachers, community workers, Indigenous organizations and grassroots initiatives across Canada. Tomorrow we get back to work. Though it is a big step in the right direction, this investment is not enough to ensure a healthy school meal or snack for every child every day. With close to 7 million people living with food insecurity in Canada today, there is still a long way to go until every person in this country is free of the burden of poverty and has sufficient income to access healthy, culturally-appropriate food every day.



Communications Manager

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