September 20th, 2022

Houston should expand school food programs, help families with rising cost of food

BRIDGEWATER – Students are back in school and the rising cost of groceries continues to make life harder for families. Parents are asking Tim Houston to make school meal programs available to every child that needs it. So far, the Houston government has offered no support leaving many families alone to fend for themselves.

“Too many families in Nova Scotia can’t keep up with the rising cost of groceries. A universal program that guarantees students one full meal a day at school would help with grocery bills and make sure students across this province get the food they need so they focus less on being hungry and more on learning,” said Chender. “Families are doing their best to make ends meet in the face of a cost of living crisis. Tim Houston is choosing to do nothing to provide much-needed relief. Giving hungry kids a healthy meal at school would make a real difference for thousands of families across Nova Scotia.”

School meal programs also work with local farmers and food producers, creating jobs and increasing demand for locally produced food. A universal program would see every student in Nova Scotia get breakfast or lunch each day, helping parents deal with the rising cost of groceries and making sure children have local, nutritious meals during the school day.

An Auditor General’s report released today says: “Nova Scotia needs to do a better job serving healthy food in its 366 public schools or risk spending billions of dollars in future healthcare costs.”

The audit highlights good practices in place in the South Shore Regional Centre for Education and recommends the Houston government review the South Shore’s practices to see what could be implemented across the province.

NDP Leader Claudia Chender is on the South Shore today talking about this and other issues with community leaders and organizations.