School food programs get historic investment to help feed kids…
Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | 2:03 pm PDT
More children and youth will have access to healthy meals and snacks at school through the Province’s new Feeding Futures funding, which invests in building and expanding local school food programs.
“As busy parents deal with global inflation, school food programs can help reduce the pressure on their wallets while tackling student hunger,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care. “Working with local schools to make sure our kids are fed and ready to learn will make a real difference for families and communities.”
Through Budget 2023, the Province is investing $214 million over three years so school districts can create or expand local food programs in schools throughout B.C. The funds will be used for purchasing food and hiring dedicated staff to co-ordinate providing meals and snacks to students. This is the largest investment in school food programs in the Province’s history.
The Ministry of Education and Child Care will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to include the Feed BC program in school food programs. Feed BC will support schools building strong community partnerships with local growers and food producers to include more B.C. food in schools and invest in local economic growth.
“Healthy minds and bodies begin with fresh, quality food,” said Pam Alexis, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “I am thrilled to see this funding go to schools across the province, where it will be used to help students get more nutritious food grown right here in our province. Together with our farmers and food businesses, we are helping to feed the minds of the next generation of British Columbians.”
The Feeding Futures program will address the immediate need of feeding students and builds on the progress made with the Student and Family Affordability Fund to help reduce the challenges of rising food costs for families who need it most.
“The new Feeding Futures funding will benefit many families in communities across B.C., including Richmond,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “Our government is reducing costs for people and supporting the well-being of students to make sure they are ready and prepared to learn.”
Non-profit organizations, donors and parent advisory councils will continue to play a vital role alongside schools to address student hunger, as it reflects the larger issue of community-based food insecurity.