Maple Leaf donates $250K to Healthy Students Brighter Ontario campaign

Campaign supports the expansion of student nutrition programs Ontario

Who: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

What: The company and its Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security are contributing $250,000 to the Healthy Students Brighter Ontario campaign.

The campaign supports 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. 

“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, in a statement. "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. 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. 

"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," Stern stated.

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