The province is championing healthy eating among children in the North by partnering with communities and schools with an initial investment of $75,000 as part of its childhood obesity strategy, Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson announced April 11.
“Ensuring access to affordable healthy foods throughout Canada’s North is a challenge,” said Rondeau. “Our role as a champion in this area involves collaborating with other governments and working with families and communities to promote healthy eating and physical activity that will give children the best chance to maintain healthy weights.”
The province is increasing funding for the Northern Healthy Foods Initiative by $25,000 to support activities such as gardening, school programs, poultry production, the purchase of freezers to store foods, providing education on preserving, composting and nutrition awareness, and engaging youth in healthy eating habits. As well it is increasing support to the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba by 25 per cent for a total annual contribution of $250,000 in support of school breakfast and snack programs in the North and across the province.
The Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet mandated a study on the high costs of food in 2003. The report recommended ways to reduce the cost of accessing affordable, nutritious foods in northern and remote Manitoba communities. The Northern Healthy Foods Initiative (NHFI) began implementation in 2004.