MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ – Maple Leaf Foods Inc (TSX: MFI) and the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security is contributing $250,000 to the Healthy Students Brighter Ontario campaign to support the expansion of the Student Nutrition Program and the First Nations Student Nutrition Program in Ontario.
In addition to private sector donations raised through the campaign, the province is contributing $5 million in additional funding, bringing total provincial funding in 2023 to $38 million. This will enable the program to deliver almost 90 million nutritious meals and snacks to over 600,000 students.
Food insecurity in Canada has reached crisis levels, with one in four children now living in a home that struggles to access food,” said Sarah Stern, Executive Director of the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security. “While school food programs will not solve this growing issue, they do provide immediate support without stigma for students who go to school without adequate nutrition. We commend the province of Ontario for this further investment to help all children learn and thrive.”
The Student Nutrition Program is delivered in partnership with local agencies, school boards, and community partner organizations, and the First Nations Student Nutrition Program is delivered through a First Nations-led process. Both programs provide breakfast, snacks or lunch programs to school-aged children and play a vital role in supporting students’ nutritional needs and promoting positive academic outcomes. Organizations and businesses that want to get involved can contact Student Nutrition Ontario.
“Proper nutrition is an important foundation for academic success, and students should have access to healthy and nutritious food to support their growing minds and bodies,” said Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We are grateful for the generosity of our partners, local community members and volunteers who contribute their time and money to help the next generation succeed. I commend their work and encourage Ontarians to get involved to support the success of Ontario students.”
“What is urgently required is a joint federal-provincial approach to structurally reduce food insecurity. We urge governments to align behind a goal to reduce food insecurity by 50% by 2030. The tools to reach this goal are within our reach. They include implementation of an adequate Canada Disability Benefit, more supports for populations who are disproportionately impacted, scaling up programs such as food prescriptions and tax benefit and social service navigation,” concluded Ms. Stern.
About the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security
The Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security (“the Centre”) is a registered charity committed to working collaboratively to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030. The Centre advocates for critical public policies and invests in knowledge building and programs that advance the capacity of people and communities to achieve sustainable food security. The Centre was created in 2016 and is governed by a board of directors, including four independent experts.
About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (“Maple Leaf Foods”) is a carbon neutral company with a vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth, responsibly producing food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders® Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife® and Field Roast™. Maple Leaf Foods employs approximately 14,000 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).
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SOURCE Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security