Unhealthy snacks in schools | The Drainville cabinet “confident” that the CSSDM will take note of the recommendations

The office of the Minister of Education is “confident that the Montreal School Services Center (CSSDM) will take note of the recommendations of the regional student ombudsman” regarding potentially harmful snacks distributed in its schools, he said. he writes to The Press.

After six months of investigation, Me Marie-Ève ​​Dorion asked the CSSDM to remove all “highly processed or borderline processed foods” from its snack offerings. Because they risk making schoolchildren obese and sick because they are served so often and because they contain so much saturated fat, sugar and salt. Within 16 months, fruits and vegetables will have to replace them every day, as required by Canada’s Food Guide, she added.

Most of the recommendations would impose on the CSSDM a “premature and disproportionate” exercise, the organization replied. Conversely, the four health or nutrition experts interviewed by The Press all believe that schools have already been waiting too long – since the revised Food Guide was published in 2019 – and that the Ministry of Education must do more, without delay, because the school network lacks funds and manpower artwork.

“We are aware that food needs are increasing in all schools in Quebec. The priority is to meet these needs while ensuring that we offer healthy and balanced snacks for our students,” wrote Antoine de la Durantaye, press secretary to Minister Bernard Drainville. (…) Between 2018 and today, we have more than doubled the budgets, going from 25.5 million to 60.9 million. »

The father who filed a complaint with the student’s regional protector, Daniel Vézina, is delighted “that the minister recognizes the recommendations”. “But I hope that the deputies will ask him for a little more detailed accounts in the House,” he continues. We need to go further and put the report into action, with a deadline. The minister should at least confirm that schools must follow Canada’s Food Guide. »

More than four years after the adoption of this Guide and 17 years after its own publication, the (Quebec) Framework Policy for healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle is still being revised.

Neither Minister Drainville’s office nor the Ministry of Education have specified The Press when it will be published. “(It) will make it possible to rename and clarify the orientations” and “tools will be made available to support school environments in (its) implementation,” indicated by email the head of press relations at the ministry, Bryan St-Louis .

The CSSDM board of directors must consider the recommendations of Mr.e Dorion during his next session, May 8.

Amounts paid by the Ministry of Education to finance food aid in 2023-2024

  • $40.5 million to school service centers and school boards (for meals and snacks)
  • $15 million to the Breakfast Club
  • 5.4 million dollars for the Cantine pour tous (for dinners)
  • Total: $60.9 million

Source: Ministry of Education

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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