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Trudeau announces national school food program to feed 400,000 more kids per year

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 01 Apr, 2024 10:59 AM
  • Trudeau announces national school food program to feed 400,000 more kids per year

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the upcoming federal budget will include a national school food program.

Trudeau made the announcement in Toronto today with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Families Minister Jenna Sudds as part of the Liberal government's pre-budget tour. 

The program is expected to provide meals to 400,000 more kids per year.

Ottawa plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years on the national food program.

While education doesn't fall under federal jurisdiction, a national program would allow Ottawa to partner up with provinces and territories, many of which are already doing the work alongside community groups. 

In the past year, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have allocated money toward school lunches, but on-the-ground organizations have argued for a federal partner.

"We're going to get this done by working together with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners, and expanding access to school food programs across the country," Freeland said.

"And we want to get started as early as the 2024-25 school year."

The Liberal government has long promised to launch such a program, and Trudeau campaigned on it during the 2021 election.

New Democrats have been pushing the Liberal government to fulfil that promise ahead of the federal budget.

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