OTTAWA – March 20, 2019 – Food Secure Canada is pleased to see $134.4 million over 5 years in the federal budget released today for the Food Policy for Canada. “Our members have fought for this policy for over 10 years and we are pleased to see a commitment in the federal budget to several important community-led initiatives” said Diana Bronson, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada.
In particular we are pleased to see the beginning of a federal-provincial territorial discussion on school food. “This is a big policy win on school food” said Debbie Field, coordinator of the Coalition for Healthy School Food. “While there are not yet dollars associated with the proposed National School Food Program, it is historic to see itmentioned at all. We look forward to working with all levels of governments and community partners to bring this program to fruition.”
A Food Policy for Canada contains commitments for $134.4 million over 5 years (p. 163) including a:
– Local food infrastructure fund for 50 million over 5 years
– Northern community initiative
– Pilot project to support non-seasonal agricultural workers get a path to permanent residency.
“This budget shows the beginning of a serious commitment to local food and to community led initiatives, as well as a more holistic vision of food policy for Canada” said Melana Roberts, Chair of FSC’s Board of Directors. “However, it is not going to change much for the 4 million Canadians who live in food insecurity.”
“We still hope to see a federally-funded governance structure, or a national food policy council as proposed by a wide variety of stakeholders and supported by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-foods (AGRI).” continued Roberts.
This budget will not fundamentally shift Canada’s food system to be more healthy, just and sustainable, but it is a step in the right direction and we look forward to more progress in the years to come. Food Secure Canada and its members are committed to making that shift happen.
About Food Secure Canada
Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three inter-locking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.
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