VANCOUVER, BC; unceded territories - British Columbia has announced the release of millions in new funding for school food programs in BC. New funding of $214 million will be dispersed over three years to support food programs in school districts across British Columbia based on enrollment per school district.
Viveca Ellis, executive director of the Centre for Family Equity, and Leona Brown, Indigenous coordinator, were on hand to support the announcement from the Ministry of Education and Child Care. The Centre for Family Equity is a member of the BC Chapter for the Coalition for Healthy School Food, and impacted the campaign with recent research on low-income parents’ experiences of existing school food programs. In October 2022, we sent our research report and a recommendation letter to the government advocating for a universal school food system for BC.
The Centre for Family Equity advocates for a publicly funded systems-building approach to addressing increasing food insecurity among low-income families in BC. While we welcome the increased funding, we advise all programs to ensure low-income families are not stigmatized through program delivery and provide healthy food that meets provincial guidelines. We also advocate for the Ministry of Education and Child Care to ensure all the Feeding Families funding goes directly to school food programs with continued funding to build a fully universal school food system for BC.