Canada only G8 country without national meals program for kidsTuesday, August 27, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
School-based meal programs need to be available to all Canadian children
Canada is the only G8 country without a national program
OTTAWA (August 27, 2013) - All schools in all provinces and territories should provide meal programs to help their students alleviate hunger and poor nutrition and to support their performance at school, The Conference Board of Canada recommends in a new report from its Centre for Food in Canada.
Children and youth are over-represented among the almost two million individuals in Canada that suffer from "food insecurity" - a situation in which nutritious food is sometimes or always unavailable or unaffordable.
"As students head back to school this fall, only some will have the benefit of good meal programs operating across the country. Canada is the only G8 country without a national school-based feeding program," said Alison Howard, principal research associate, and co-author of Enough for All: Household Food Security in Canada.
"Children that lack proper diets are less able to concentrate and perform well at school, which makes it more difficult to learn the skills they will need as adults. Ensuring that all children and youth have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious foods for their everyday activities are critical for a vulnerable population."
• Household food insecurity is defined as a state in where nutritious food is unavailable or unaffordable, or the supply is not stable. About 7.7 percent of Canadian households were "food insecure" in 2007-08
• Household income has the greatest impact on whether a household or family will be food insecure
• Children that are deprived of proper diets are both less healthy and less likely to succeed at school, which affects their physical and economic well-being for the rest of their lives.
This report recommends that all 13 provincial and territorial governments participate in a pan-Canadian program that provides or manages funding for breakfasts or lunches and/or snacks in each school or school board.
If programs cannot be free of charge to students, fees should be based on the income level of each participating family. Ongoing assessments of effectiveness and results must also be part of any school meal program.
Household food insecurity is associated with poor health in both adults and children.
Among children in particular, food insecurity is associated with poor academic achievement, and health problems.
Almost 10 percent of households with children said they felt insecure about their access to affordable and nutritious food, compared to less than seven percent of households without children.
In addition to implementing a pan-Canadian school nutrition program, the report identifies several other short-term and long-term solutions.
• Support collaboration among industry, government, and communities to make food more accessible to households.
• Increase support for outreach efforts to the isolated and at-risk populations, such as Aboriginal peoples, lone-parent families, women, children, recent immigrants and the elderly.
• Encourage volunteerism and engagement in food security initiatives.
• Improve food literacy levels, through, for example, educating the public on buying and cooking nutritious meals.
• Make public transportation more affordable for low-income households so that individuals can travel to grocery stores and other places to obtain nutritious food.
• Ensure agricultural policies address household food security through, for example, subsidies for fruit and vegetable products, producers and transportation.
• Invest in strategies to address low income/poverty, since household income is the strongest predictor of food security or insecurity.
• Track, study, and evaluate household food security initiatives to find effective programs to support and replicate.
The principal goal of the Centre for Food in Canada is to engage stakeholders from business, government, academia, associations, and communities in creating a Canadian Food Strategy - one that will meet the country's need for a coordinated, long-term strategy on industry prosperity, healthy and safe food, household food security, and environmental sustainability.
johnnyc 8/27/2013 2:55:59 PM Report
Shameful, another reason Mr. Harper the robot shouldn't be in power.
His days are numbered as our leader.
learningaswego 8/27/2013 3:00:29 PM Report
Yes, yes, just what we need - another giant, money-sucking, wasteful bureaucracy - to try to replace the FUNDAMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY of PARENTS to feed their children properly.
Let's throw a few hundred million $$$$ at it, shall we - where - AS USUAL, a tiny FRACTION would actually go to food for kids; and the rest would be pi$$ed away on the usual government wasteful bureaucracy, cash for life jobs and pensions for unions.
Dead End Kid 8/27/2013 3:19:38 PM Report
The whole idea of this program is to protect the many neglected children that do go to school on an empty stomach. This is a reality that we have in society. I am all for this program.
B Boy 8/27/2013 3:30:03 PM Report
The kids whom my children see at the breakfast program are the same ones who live up our street that have 2 cars, a boat, snowmachine, 4 wheeler, pool, xbox, playstation, toys everywhere and are going on a new vacation every few months. Meanwhile we work hard to provide for our kids who don't have a fraction of what the kids up the street do.
The problem isn't the program, it's the people abusing it as usual. I could save a ton of money if I didn't bother feeding them, but who oversees parents?
Take this report with a grain of salt. The Conference Board of Canada has had several allegations made against them over the years including plagiarising other reports (such as in 2008).
We always have to exercise critical thinking and look for hidden agendas.
You need to be of age to buy lottery tickets, gamble, work, drive cars, buy firearms but there's nothing to ensure the kids, the future of the world are taken care of.
Our culture/society/system/whatever seems to put more resources into those who won't help themselves but those who do try fall through the cracks. CAS is a strong example.
Right of Centre 8/27/2013 3:30:41 PM Report
I'm with learningaswego on this. A big, fat, NO! If everyone else is jumping off a bridge, I'm not.
Just look at the US' school meal program, the waste, political interference by Michelle Obama, and who makes the money? Companies with contracts, serving highly processed crap.
We already pay high enough taxes to support welfare, child tax credits, etc., for low or no income earners. We also don't have every school with a cafeteria.
Put this in the pile with Toronto tenant demands for air conditioning, and the new one for landlord-supplied internet. The freebies cannot go on for ever. Just look south.
learningaswego 8/27/2013 3:31:14 PM Report
Sure, they start off as a program for "needy" kids, and in short order become breakfast for ALL - because - if you were a kid, which would you rather do, eat breakfast at home by yourself or with your sibs, or go to school and have it like a fun picnic with your friends? Also, there's the concern of singling out the "poor" kids by only offering breakfast to them.
Tills 8/27/2013 3:41:25 PM Report
Isn't the monthly tax credit suppose to be used for the child. Kids need to stop having kids and expecting the tax payer to take care of them.
soowat 8/27/2013 3:50:01 PM Report
Did you actually read the article?
If you did you would have noticed it was written by the Conference Board of Canada which is not some left wing fringe group.
You would have also noticed that the article stated the main reason for poor nutrition among children is lack of money in the household.
Finally, you would also have noted that Canada is the only country in the G8 without a national meals programme. If you don't know what the g8 is you can check at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G8 for one source.
With all that information readily available to you, one can only reasonably conclude that it may be you didn't take the time to read the item. Thus, your diatribe came from ignorance. Alternatively you are one of the most mean spirited people on the planet or one of the silliest.
Dead End Kid 8/27/2013 4:03:09 PM Report
It is neglect and abuse not to feed your child in the morning before going to school but how is the government going to police this issue? Arrest the parents and it then becomes their word against yours. There may be only a small percentage of abuse but it is a reality so it then becomes societie's responsibility to feed these children. You have to be one cold hearted "son of a gun" to argue with that.
Dead End Kid 8/27/2013 4:05:50 PM Report
Tills get real and face reality. Kids are never going to stop having kids so get over it.
dylind 8/27/2013 4:08:01 PM Report
Message from the PMO: "The NMP (National Meals Program) is still not in place as administration has yet to find a way to siphon money from it. Thank you for your patience."
Seriously though...I'm with the group that says the route cause is not being addressed by using this program.
Right of Centre 8/27/2013 4:53:08 PM Report
A loaf of bread...a dozen eggs, $4.08 or less. Feed the kid two eggs and two slices of toast for $0.85 a day, or less. That's $25 a month. Throw in a lb. of butter, some salt and pepper, and let's call it $30 a month. How much are those monthly payments for having kids, for low or no income parents? Well over $100, and I'd hazard a guess over $200 a month, per kid.
Hell of a lot cheaper than a bowl of expensive, crap cereal, and they won't be starving by lunch. Inexpensive enough that NO ONE should be sending their kid to school hungry.
Zap 8/27/2013 5:46:51 PM Report
MONSANTO(GMO) FOODs people are being purposely poisoned. Google Monsanto gmo foods and march against Monsanto
little friend 8/27/2013 6:24:36 PM Report
Sounds to me like the parents are not spending the money allotted per low income families to feed them. I say either take it away and put $$ into food programs or give out food stamps instead of $$ to the parents.
Stugatzu 8/27/2013 7:11:20 PM Report
They're spending the money on Tim Horton's, smokes, bingo and beer... not the kids.
A bowl of cereal with milk, oatmeal and fruit, eggs and toast... all relatively low-cost and nutritional breakfast ideas... too bad the children aren't getting what they need.
Its alarming how many of these "breakfast program" parents all have a cup of Tim's and a cigarette in their hand -- and cry the blues about not having any money.
aDayInTheLife 8/27/2013 7:15:55 PM Report
I like the idea of having some kind of program here for kids at school....
kind of surprised at some peoples views...I mean, I understand peoples rights to their own opinion, but I don't think people should automatically think that Everyone who is low-income is spending money poorly..or the wrong way. Not everyone who has struggles from time to time with bills/groceries for their children are kids themselves....
yes, there are people who do abuse the system, which makes it bad for those who are actually in need of the help... I'm not a young parent & I have needed help with such things in the past...not because I gambled, or drank my money away ( I don't drink-sure can't afford to gamble!)...I didn't just depend on child tax- that went to helping with groceries & bills to provide for my children- but it barely helps families get by...especially ones who have more than one school aged child.
Sure, other countries have this in place and there is some improvents that can be made to how it works...if this program comes to Canada I hope it can be worked out so that it's not too costly and is good for everyone...
the point of it is helping children get Nutritious meals into them which is a big part of them growing healthy & paying more attention in school. Have to admit- healthier foods are more pricey than some of the sugar loaded, empty calorie filled low price junk that is in the price range for a low-income person
aDayInTheLife 8/27/2013 7:25:53 PM Report
just a side thought---even if some parents are complete idiots & spending money wrong, should the kids really suffer because of it?, it's not thier fault that they have parent(s) that are a$$holes.., I sure wouldn't want to see someone hungry because of that...I'd rather see them get at least one good meal in them at school, who knows what they have to eat at home..
Yeah, people like that shouldn't be allowed to reproduce- I Agree!, but those kids didn't ask to be born either...then that gets into a whole other discussion about CAS!...lol,
Point being- I'm sure any kid would be happy with something even if its a little at school!
Right of Centre 8/27/2013 7:49:50 PM Report
They will NOT get a good meal into them in school. How many elementary schools in this city have facilities to prepare a proper, healthy meal for the student population? ZERO. And quite frankly, I don't want to pay for it. Low and no income families are already subsidized by taxpayers. If they weren't, they would pay the same tax rate as my family, and I would receive the same monthly deposits for my kids that they receive. They don't and I don't.
Dead End Kid 8/27/2013 11:19:09 PM Report
Anything is better than an empty stomach.
soowat 8/28/2013 12:04:03 AM Report
aDayInTheLife Right of center and learningaswego could learn a lesson in human decency from folks like you
girlfriend 8/28/2013 6:15:18 AM Report
Most schools already have a breakfast and snack program. Funded by donations, school money and grants! Many kids are hungry and sometimes it is because the parents have other priorities - if you support the idea donate some food to your local school. If not, call Bryan Hayes and voice your opinion. Just do something other than whining on here!!!
Stevie-E 8/28/2013 8:19:36 AM Report
Tell us your name and address and maybe we will meet you at the parade!
Yes, Monsanto is bad like many other things...including conspiracy theorists that really have nothing better to do! You guys are the ones that do all the talking but I don't see any action.
Stop trolling and stay on topic!
foxylady069 8/28/2013 11:13:57 AM Report
I am appalled at some of the responses. SO to clear things up a bit here is my opinion on things from a mother and an income earner.
I know that some schools in town here do have breakfast programs-I know that the breakfast program is mainly bagels, a croissant, they might get a piece of fruit, may have cereal- sometimes. There is often not enough of the healthier stuff left for late arrivers-but hey have a big ol bagel(full of bad carbs.)it will fill your belly but doesn't give much else.)
They also have a healthy snack program that delivers a tray of fruit or vegetables for the day to each class. I don't know if every school has it but my child's school does. This isn't a bad idea it is there for every child to munch on between their two "nutrition breaks" My daughters have discovered they did like some vegetables that We don't often have as they aren't willing to try at home but are more opt to try with their friends.
I provide my children with breakfast every morning and healthy and fun food for lunches every day.
It was suggested (by a principal) to me to allow my children into the breakfast program for 1 reason and it has nothing to do with money!
Here is is: TIME. My children are up at 6:30. They eat their breakfast as soon as they can so are always done by 7. They do all the morning preparing. Help make their lunch selections for the day etc. and have some downtime before heading out. They catch their bus at 8:50 and are at school by 9:10(this is the normal time they are asking for a snack at home).They are not allowed to snack outside on school grounds while waiting for the bell-garbage issues. They are not allowed to eat on the bus-safety,allergen,garbage issues. Their first nutrition break is at 11:20.
4.5 hours is a long time for a child to go without food. For optimal health you should eat 5-6 times a day. Due to school/bus policies my children are not allowed to eat as they do at home.
They no longer have 2 recesses (I remember having a little snack on those) with a lunch in between.
I know the article is about the a families inability to provide food for children. But it isn't always about the MONEY.
Right of Centre 8/28/2013 4:51:54 PM Report
Let me be clear. I have no problem with meals or snacks provided at school, provided by the school. What I DO have a problem with is that it should be taxpayer funded. I already pay for the food for my children, and those of others receiving social assistance, through the taxes my family pays.
Every group out there, with their hand out, needs to pull from their own pocket, for a change. My pocket is empty. It's also time for some personal responsibility.
soowat 8/28/2013 6:54:51 PM Report
Right of Centre
Ok you've already proved you are heartless
YOU CAN STOP CONFIRMING THE FACT
Right of Centre 8/28/2013 8:41:27 PM Report
If you want it, you pay for it.
Contrary to your belief, I am not heartless. I have been absolutely broke, raising children. I did not expect others to help foot the bill.
A culture of entitlement has developed in the western world (G8 for example) that is not sustainable. Generational welfare is a perfect example. Expectations that all should have cable, cell phones, excess toys, is plain garbage. A good portion of our society has no concept of a need, versus a want. A good portion of our society has never been held responsible for providing for themselves, and their children. It is not my responsibility to support others, it should be my choice. If you fail to understand that, look up the definition of charity.