Resetting the lunch table

Here in Canada where school lunch is almost exclusively the responsibility of families who send packed meals with their kids, it can often seem as if nobody really questions the status quo. Even with rising rates of obesity and evidence that many families are struggling to provide healthy lunches (or any lunch) for their kids, Canadians tend to think we’re doing just fine (thank-you very much, I mean, sorry for mentioning it).

But a  poll done by Strategic Communications in April, 2010, suggests Canadians aren’t as disinterested as all that.

In fact,  85% told the pollsters they support federal-provincial cooperation “to provide universal access to healthy snacks and lunches for all school aged children across Canada.”

Wow.

These Canadians also want food literacy programming in schools (82%), banning of fast food chains in schools (77%), local food procurement policies in public institutions (71%) and support for links between farmers and schools (86%).

This is exciting news. Canadians not only care about what their children are eating for lunch, they think our federal government has a big role to play in making it accessible, affordable and integrated into a sustainable food system. Now we have to convince the government that the cost of such a universal nutrition program will be offset by the huge dividends—in health, justice, the environment, even the economy.

Check out Food Share for more on this poll.

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