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Lush Valley hopes for nation-wide school food program in Canada

A local food organization hopes to see a national school food program in Canada.

In response to the cost of living affecting many families, the Canadian teacher’s federation has launched a nationwide campaign to get a Pan-Canadian School Food Program included in the next federal budget.

Lush Valley is an organization that focuses on food security in the Comox Valley, where they help students with the healthy student meal program.

Executive director Maurita Prato says increased costs have become two-fold for them.

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“One is that there is an increased cost to running all our programs because of the increasing cost of food but the additional issue is that we are having more and more families caught in this affordability crisis,” said Prato.

“There is more need for programming and for access to healthy food.”

She says they also are seeing some of the typical revenues that might come to them aren’t as available.

Prato says a universal program can benefit the students.

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“It means that every student would have access to a meal or other food programs, so their families have good healthy food,” said Prato.

“It is really important when we are dealing with affordability, talking about food insecurity or poverty that we normalize programs like this so that we are actually moving people out of poverty.”

She adds that if the program is added to the budget, they hope Lush Valley can still help school districts by providing food and meals to the students.

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