2013 Alternative Federal Budget: Put Food in the Budget

For immediate release.

It IS Broke – So Let’s Fix the Canadian Food System!

Put Food in the Budget!

Montreal, 12 March 2013 - Having no national food policy is expensive, costing Canadian taxpayers billions in stopgap programs that don’t address the underlying issues. Most recently, Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, joined the chorus of voices across Canada calling for a national food policy.

The data is in and it paints a pretty bleak picture – food bank usage up, children going to school hungry, continuing loss of farmers and fishers and the resulting rural and coastal devastation, indigenous communities unable to access their traditional foods and suffering from a significantly higher incidence of diet-related diseases. There are no easy fixes, which is why the federal government must take the lead and put food in the budget.

Food Secure Canada drew on the expertise of its members to create a chapter on food for the 2013 Alternative Federal Budget, published each year by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The food chapter echoes many of the recommendations in De Schutter’s Mission to Canada report and calls for a national food policy that would include:

  • A national student nutrition program;
  • The adoption of local sustainable procurement policy for all federal institutions;
  • The creation of financial and educational incentive programs for family farms;
  • Increasing the budget for Nutrition North Canada and an independent review of the program.

The problems are complex and so must be the solutions. Canadians need the federal government to take the lead in creating a national food policy that crosses departmental boundaries and levels of governments and includes all of us.

Let’s put our money where our mouths are: put food in the federal budget. Stay tuned to find out how you can be involved next year.

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To contact Food Secure Canada:  Diana Bronson, Executive Director, at 514 271-7352 or cell 514 629 9236 or director@foodsecurecanada.org.

Food Secure Canada is a national membership-based organization concerned with zero hunger, safe and healthy food and sustainable food systems. Its basic platform is explained in Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada.