OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 20, 2023 /CNW/ - In honour of National Child Day Breakfast Club of Canada meets this morning with members of parliament and senators during a Breakfast on the Hill. The event serves as a chance to discuss the importance of implementing a National School Food Policy so that no children start the school day on an empty stomach preventing them from improving their learning capacities, growing emotionally and physically healthy, and ultimately being able to reach their full potential.
More generally, the event provides an opportunity to draw attention to the mission of Breakfast Club of Canada, the only national school nutrition delivery organization, and to discuss the role that various stakeholders are called on to play to protect the well-being of children across the country and see to it that their rights are upheld.
A survey by Maru/Blue conducted earlier this year on behalf of Breakfast Club of Canada has shown that 88% of Canadians think that federal, provincial, and municipal governments should make child hunger and malnutrition a political priority. Moreso, 84% believe that the federal government should implement a national school food program, which the Liberal Party of Canada promised to work towards in the 2021 federal elections.
Building on many years of working together with the federal government and the school nutrition ecosystem, Breakfast Club of Canada takes the opportunity today to reiterate the importance of the federal government's commitment to developing and implementing a National School Food Program. The event also gives the members of parliament the opportunity to hear the perspectives from regional and local delivery partners.
At the end of October, the government of Canada released a What We Heard Report following public consultations to seek feedback on a national school food policy. Ensuring that every child gets the best start in life is a shared priority for Breakfast Club of Canada and the Government of Canada. Today's event is an opportunity to discuss the highlights of this report in a non-partisan way, and to realize that almost all participants of the consultation agreed that school food programs benefit children and their communities.
Breakfast Club of Canada is pleased to have been able to support the government throughout the process of these consultations and hopes that immediate next steps will be taken. A collective effort by the government and all members of the House of Commons is necessary to secure the financial commitments required to implement a cost-shared school food program that follows the principles and objectives laid out in the recent report.
"The future of all children depends on the decisions and actions we are taking today. A National School Food Program would allow more children from coast-to-coast-to-coast to have access to nutritious food, which in turn would improve their overall health and academic performance. We will keep ramping up our outreach efforts to make this happen and help roll out a national policy as quickly as possible." ? Judith Barry, Co-Founder and Director, Government Relations, Breakfast Club of Canada
"Grumbling stomachs can have a major impact on kids in the classroom, affecting their self-esteem and hindering their ability to focus on their schoolwork. In collaboration with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, and stakeholders like the Breakfast Club of Canada, we are developing a National School Food Policy to deliver on our goal of giving kids healthy and bright futures. When kids have the nutritious food they need, they can stay focused on what matters most: learning and growing in the classroom." ? The Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"Far too many children enter their classrooms hungry, and we're committed to building on our National School Food Policy so every child can reach their full potential. Thank you to the Breakfast Club of Canada for your continued partnership on this important initiative." ? The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"At a time when inflation is affecting families in Quebec and across Canada as they struggle to cope with increased financial pressure, 1.8 million children are living in a situation of food insecurity. These conditions are unacceptable, and as a society responsible for the well-being of our children, we have an obligation to remedy this situation quickly." ? Sylvie Bérubé, M.P. for Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou, Bloc Québécois and Critic for Children, Families, and Social Development
"Canada remains the only G7 country without a national school food program. It is long past time for the Liberal government to keep its promise, and invest in the creation of this program. No child should ever have to learn on an empty stomach. A national school meal program will help ensure that every child gets the best possible start in life and the nutritious food they need." ? Leah Gazan, M.P. for Winnipeg Centre, New Democratic Party and Critic for Children, Families, and Social Development
Since 1994, Breakfast Club of Canada has been working with partners from all sectors to help children access a nutritious breakfast and reach their full potential. Accredited by Imagine Canada for its effective governance and recognized for its promotion of local food products, the Club helps reach children in every province and territory across the country. To learn more, visit breakfastclubcanada.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
SOURCE Breakfast Club of Canada