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Trudeau announces $1 billion for a national school feeding program

Photo: Tijana Martin The Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that the school food program “will help alleviate the pressure families are feeling, invest directly in the future of our children and ensure that they are happy , healthy and able to reach their full potential.”

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

April 1, 2024

  • Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the next federal budget will include a national school food program.

Mr. Trudeau made the announcement Monday in Toronto alongside Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Families Minister Jenna Sudds as part of the Liberal government's pre-budget tour.

The program is expected to provide meals to an additional 400,000 children per year.

Ottawa plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years on the national food program.

Even though education is not a federal jurisdiction, a national program would allow Ottawa to partner with provinces and territories, many of which already do the work alongside community groups.

The Prime Minister said in a press release that this program “will help alleviate the pressure families are feeling, invest directly in the future of our children and ensure that they are happy, healthy and healthy. able to reach their full potential. This is a question of fairness. »

Over the past year, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have allocated funding for school meals, but organizations on the ground have advocated for a federal partner.

“We will do this by working together with our provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners and expanding access to school food programs across the country,” said Ms. Freeland. And we want to start from the 2024-2025 school year. »

The Liberal government has long promised to launch such a program, and Prime Minister Trudeau campaigned on it during the 2021 election.

New Democrats pushed the Liberal government to keep this promise before tabling the federal budget. “No child should go to school hungry, and no parent should have to endure and feel guilty because they cannot afford healthy, nutritious food,” said Monday , by press release, the leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh.

“We will not accept empty promises in the next budget. Canadian families need this program, and they need it now,” he added.

For its part, the Breakfast Club was enthusiastic about this news, announcing that the national organization would work with federal, provincial and territorial governments, school administrations and Indigenous partners to implement this program.

Tommy Kulczyk, the President and CEO of the Breakfast Club, as well as Judith Barry, the co-founder and director of government relations, were also present alongside Justin Trudeau during the 'announcement.

The club believes this is a turning point in Canada's commitment to the well-being of children.

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