October 17th, 2023
Universal school food program needed to support students
HALIFAX – In the face of rising food insecurity, the Houston government must ensure that students have access to nutritious food at school. Today, the NSNDP will table legislation requiring the province to provide at least one meal per school day by September 1, 2024.
“Nova Scotia families are finding it harder and harder to keep up with the rising cost of groceries and we know that children across this province are going without enough to eat. A universal school food program would help make sure that students across this province get the food they need so that they can stay healthy and focused on learning,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “Giving hungry kids a healthy meal at school would make a real difference for thousands of families across Nova Scotia. This is something the Houston government could and should do immediately.”
Nova Scotia was the only province to receive an F grade in the recent Food Banks Canada report released last month that says our province is lagging behind in efforts to reduce poverty.
“Nova Scotia has some of the highest child poverty rates in the country and we can’t continue to ignore the serious issues that are fueled by poverty,” said NDP Community Services spokesperson Kendra Coombes. “The Houston government can announce all the programs they want but if it doesn’t lead to fewer hungry children and a life Nova Scotians can afford, there’s not much to be bragging about.”
Last year, the Auditor General released a report calling on the government to do a better job serving healthy food in public schools or “risk spending billions of dollars in future healthcare costs.”