Arrell Food Scholar Amberley Reutz, a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, penned a commentary in Policy Options along with Arrell Food Institute director Prof. Evan Fraser and geography professor John Smithers about why now is the time for Canada to launch its long-promised national school food program.
The authors note that the federal government’s recent $2-billion investment to support safe school re-opening is an excellent time to create a dedicated school food fund to support the development of a school food program.
Not only would such a program provide healthy school food to support all families, “a buy-Canada focus would help the agriculture, food service and construction sectors.
“A national school food program could re-employ thousands of chefs and food workers to support the hard-hit food services sector,” they wrote, adding it would contribute $4.8 billion to the Canadian agri-food sector over 10 years if 30 percent the annual budget were spent on local food purchases.
Prof. Jess Haines, from the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, contributed to the article as well.
Ruetz has written before on the need for a national school food program, including in a commentary for Conversation Canada.