CANADA’S PROMISES In 1989, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000 one in seven Canadian children still struggles to have his or her basic needs met one in four First Nations and Inuit children grows up in poverty over 300,000 children rely on food banks
CANADA’S PROMISES In 1992, Canada signed the World Declaration on Nutrition: access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is a right of each individual ensuring every child is able to develop his or her potential should be everyone’s concern each of us has a responsibility to stop the betrayal of Canada’s children, and make the 1992 promise a reality our children do not want excuses—that this is a provincial problem or someone else’s responsibility; our children need food to feed their bodies and minds
STUDENT HUNGER 40% of elementary students and 62% of secondary school students do not eat a nutritious breakfast “When children go to school hungry or poorly nourished, their energy levels, memory, problem-solving skills, creativity, concentration and behaviour are all negatively impacted. … As a result of being hungry at school, these children may not reach their full developmental potential — an outcome that can have a health impact throughout their entire lives (Former Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones)”
STUDENT HUNGER “I share my apple with my friend every day because my friend doesn’t get to eat an apple. I get tired when I do not eat an apple. My friend doesn’t get breakfast, so he gets really hungry and really tired. So I share my apple, and now my friend doesn’t get tired any more. And guess what, he gets stars on his work now!”
SCHOOL MEALS WORLDWIDE Worldwide, 368 million children –roughly one out of every five — receive a meal at school every day in 169 developed and developing countries In Sweden, children aged six to 16 receive a hot meal each day In Japan, children aged six to 15 receive school meals, with 50 percent of the meals made with local ingredients In Brazil, a massive national nutrition program feeds 47 million students at 190,000 schools each day, improving student health and well-being, and feeding the agricultural economy, local food system and regional economic development
CALL TO ACTION That the federal government work with the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for agriculture, education and health to develop a comprehensive pan- Canadian school nutrition program
BENEFITS OF SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS Nutritious diets and mitigates against childhood obesity Better grades and health, increased motivation, improved likelihood of graduation, and decreased absenteeism and violence Less food insecurity, and reduced risk for chronic diseases and mental health disorders
BENEFITS OF SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS Research shows that students that eat breakfast every day have an increased graduation rate of 17% The Boston Consulting Group reports that, on average, each high-school graduate contributes an extra $75,000 to the economy; they earn higher salaries than “drop-outs”, pay increased taxes, have lower healthcare costs, and are less dependent on social assistance If providing food at school increases graduation rates by only 3%, a pan-Canadian school meals program in high schools at a cost of $1.25 a day could result in an annual net payback of more than $500 million
BENEFITS OF SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS Potential economic stimulus for Canadian agriculture is also considerable Realistically, 70% of a pan-Canadian nutrition program could have domestic content with an annual return to Canadian producers of $1.5 billion -as a general rule, for each dollar spent in a community, an additional two to three dollars would be generated through processing, storage, trucking, etc.
“Hi man, hi lady. Thank you for the first apple I ever eaten. I like apples, I want to eat more. I want the apples to come to my school again. My teacher said you bringed the apples. Can you bring apples again? Thank you man, thank you lady. Are you really the apple fairy?”
It is time to end child hunger in Canada. As Buzz Aldrin said: “if we can conquer space, we can conquer child hunger”.