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The federal government wants to launch its school feeding program next year

Photo: REUTERS The Liberals have set aside $1 billion over five years for this program, which will be used to feed children across the country, as they promised during the 2021 election campaign.

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

Posted at 4:37 p.m. Updated at 4:46 p.m.

  • Canada

Canada's Minister of Families, Jenna Sudds, said Thursday that the government hopes the National School Food Program will be launched before the end of the next school year. However, it will take time for organizations to scale up their activities.

The Liberals have set aside $1 billion over five years for the program, which will feed kids across the country, as they promised during the 2021 election campaign.

Sudds said in an interview Thursday that the agreements with the provinces and territories will be similar to the child care agreements they signed to reduce the cost of child care.

“We will negotiate those agreements, incorporating our vision and our principles, and then it will be up to the provinces to move forward,” she said.

The school food program will largely build on existing organizations that already feed kids and is expected to provide food to 400,000 children. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new policy that will guide these negotiations at a press conference in Nova Scotia on Thursday.

“One of the most important aspects of school food programs is that they are universal, no one has to justify the neighborhood they live in or their parents' salary to be able to access a little extra help.” , said Mr. Trudeau.

Ms. Sudds said lunch, breakfast or snack programs should be available to all children in a school.

“It’s a fundamental principle for many reasons,” she said.

The negotiations will take place at a time when all political parties recognize that the cost of groceries has become unsustainable for some families, even if there is no consensus on how to remedy the situation.< /p>

The aim is to see the number of meals provided in schools increase before the 2025 summer holidays. Sudds acknowledged, however, that this will take time, even after negotiations are complete.

“Funding is one factor, agreements are another, but what's actually happening on the ground is another monumental effort,” she explained.

“We have so many incredible organizations across this country doing this work right now. They also need support and time to be able to expand [their efforts] to provide even more food and [to] even more schools. »

As with the child care agreements, Ms. Sudds expects negotiations and final agreements to play out very differently from province to province and are adapted to better meet the needs of particular communities.

The details of what the federal government wants to see in each agreement are still being studied and are subject to negotiation, she added.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116