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March 6th, 2024

NDP calls for school lunch program to feed hungry kids in the upcoming budget  

COMOX, B.C. – On Wednesday, Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh joined by local NDP MPs Rachel Blaney and Gord Johns called for a National School Lunch program to be implemented in the upcoming budget.
Right now, food bank usage across the country is at its highest level since 1989 and more than one million children are living in poverty. Canada is the only G7 country without a National School Food Program.  
“Parents are doing everything they can to take care of their kids, but the cost of food just keeps going up. In a country as rich as ours, no child should ever have to go to school hungry,” said Singh. “While parents make big sacrifices to keep food on the table, grocery store CEOs like Galen Weston are making record profits at Canadians’ expense.  
“While families fall further behind and grocery CEOs get rich, Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives voted against a school lunch program for kids this past December.  And when he was in government, he gave $55 billion in tax giveaways to large corporations including Galen Weston and Jim Pattison companies. This is shameful. Ensuring kids have enough to eat should not be up for debate.”
School lunch programs, like the ones pioneered by the B.C. NDP government, mean that kids get a healthy meal each day. This helps them learn and grow without worrying about their next meal. And it gives parents much-needed relief at a time when Canadians are feeling the squeeze.  
 The Comox Valley school district received provincial funding, but they need the federal government to do their part.  
 “Every child and their family deserve this help. The Liberals have been promising this step since 2019 but, so far, they’ve prioritized their wealthy friends and let thousands of Canadian families down,” said Blaney. “That’s why New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to put in place a National School Food program in the next budget.”
“No child here on the Island or anywhere in this country should be worried about where their next meal is coming from,” said Johns. “New Democrats are here to say that it’s time parents and students across the country had the support they deserve. Ottawa should work for you and your family, not for wealthy CEOs gouging you at the grocery till.”