Niagara Falls, St. Catharines MPPs cheer funding for school nutrition programs


Published October 6, 2023 at 10:55 am

Jennie Stevens Wayne Gate school nutrition program funding
St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens, left, and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates said they were happy to hear the Ministry for Children, Community and Social Service would be announcing an additional $5 million in funding to school nutrition programs.

With the Province set to announce an additional $5 million in funding towards school nutrition programs, St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gate said they believe their continued advocacy for the Niagara schools played its part.

Back in April, Gates and Stevens, both NDP members, delivered a letter to Michael Parsa, Minister for Children, Community and Social Service while highlighting the lack of funding increases for the Niagara Nutrition Partners program during Question Period at Queen’s Park.

“We are filled with optimism today,” said Stevens yesterday (Oct. 5). “This journey began right here in Niagara, and the top-up for school nutrition programs is a credit to the relentless advocacy of our service providers and community members.”

“We are proud to have added our voices to theirs. We took the issue directly to the Minister, worked across party lines, and the result is a positive step forward.”

Under the current economic conditions and sky-rocketing grocery prices, Gates said school nutrition programs need more funding than ever.

“Ontario is grappling with an affordability crisis, and it’s our responsibility to ensure no child goes to school on an empty stomach,” said Gates.

“The community of Niagara has shown what’s possible when we come together for a shared cause, but the advocacy doesn’t end here. This is just a first step in addressing a program that hadn’t seen a funding increase in almost a decade.” 

“We will continue to keep a watchful eye on the developments and are actively connecting with the Ministry for more details,” said Stevens. “Our children deserve consistent support, and we will work tirelessly here to ensure they get it.”

Back in June, the Niagara Nutrition Partners program received the requested top-up money – the first top-up in nearly a decade.

The two area MPPs said that they had reached out to Parsa to ensure they will be kept updated on the timeline and details of the announcement for the additional $5 million to Ontario’s student nutrition programs.

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