Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson joined Vision School Board Chair Patti Bacchus outside of Strathcona Community Centre this morning, announcing that the Vision Vancouver team will build on Vancouver’s Healthy City strategy and double the reach of the VSB's Breakfast Programs, ensuring that 1,300 kids in Vancouver have access to a hot, healthy breakfast each morning before school.
"In a city as prosperous and compassionate as Vancouver, there is no reason why any kid should go to school hungry," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Reducing child hunger is a straight-forward way to enable our kids to succeed in school and build a healthier, stronger, more compassionate city.
"Vision Vancouver is the only party with a track record of investing in local food, increasing support for child care and providing strong, experienced leadership at all levels of local government. Building on our new Healthy City strategy, the Vision team will move Vancouver forward by providing direct help for our city's most vulnerable kids."
There is currently a $60,000 annual shortfall for the VSB Breakfast Programs. It lacks stable funding and relies entirely on charitable donations. The program serves 650 Vancouver students breakfast every morning at 12 elementary schools, with food that meets the Provincial Healthy Eating Guidelines.
Building on this term's Healthy City Strategy, a Vision Council will invest $400,000 into expanding the VSB Breakfast Programs, providing more kids with healthy food. This funding commitment will provide stable, long-term funding for the existing Breakfast Programs, and double the reach to ensure 1,300 kids receive breakfast. This added support will also help leverage new partnerships and funding support from the non-profit and private sectors.
"Vancouver public schools are among the best in the country, but many of our kids start the school day with the odds stacked against them," said Vision School Board Chair Patti Bacchus. "A warm, nutritious meal to start the day is a simple yet hugely effective way to help our kids succeed. The VSB Breakfast Programs are one of the most effective tools we have to reduce inequality and make sure our kids get the support they need."