Food Movement Calls for Action in Ottawa on Eve of Food Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, June 20, 2017 - As the Food Policy for Canada Summit approaches, June 22-23, 2017 at the Infinity Convention Centre, civil society groups and researchers from across Canada are converging on Ottawa. Urging the government to be ambitious and long-term in its food policy agenda, they are rallying behind the Five Big Ideas proposed by Food Secure Canada, a national network calling for zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.

 

A joined-up food policy for Canada is more urgent than ever. We are risking the health of the next generation of Canadians, and the health of the environment we all depend upon. In terms of children and nutrition, measured by household food insecurity and child obesity, Canada ranks a shocking 37th out of 41 OECD countries according to UNICEF’s just-published report card. With food systems responsible for 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability needs to be a top priority. With several government departments around the table, the Food Policy for Canada Summit is a golden opportunity to enlist our food system in the fight against climate change, the crisis of health outcomes caused by poor diets, and burgeoning healthcare costs. Working together is the only way we can ensure that future generations can access healthy, safe, environmentally friendly food.

 

“We need a whole of government approach” said FSC Executive Director Diana Bronson. “Ensuring access to healthy and sustainably produced food will require collaboration across government, and partnerships with non-governmental organizations and other orders of government who are eager to share community-driven innovations and success stories. We need Agriculture and Health and Social Development as well as other government agencies all working together. It is unconscionable that children in Canada are still going to school hungry, a problem that has reached crisis proportions on many reserves.”

 

Food Secure Canada members will be meeting in advance on June 21 in Ottawa to share their analyses. Encouraged by the poll just released by Community Food Centres Canada which found that 95% of the Canadian population believes that access to nutritious food is a basic right, Food Secure Canada and its members will be proposing concrete policies to ensure a sustainable food future where all Canadians can truly exercise their right to food.

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To contact civil society representatives at the Summit or for additional background:

Diana Bronson | (514) 629-9236 (cell), director@foodsecurecanada.org

Sasha McNicoll, Coalition for Healthy School Food Coordinator | (647) 770-8388 (cell), sasha@foodsecurecanada.org

*Available on-site for questions and comments.

 

Background reading:



Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three inter-locking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.

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