PEI

Education minister promises P.E.I. school food program for fall 2020

A universal school food program will be rolled out in all Island schools next year, according to P.E.I.'s education minister. 

PCs delayed plan announced by former Liberal government in June

Education Minister Brad Trivers said he intends to roll out a universal school-food program in September 2020. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. )

A universal school-food program will be rolled out in all Island schools next year, according to P.E.I.'s education minister. 

In June, the PC government announced it was delaying a food program promised by the previous Liberal government, and was working on a new plan.

Education Minister Brad Trivers blamed the timing of the provincial election for the delay, saying the timeline was too tight to get a program ready for the 2019-2020 academic year.

In question period Thursday, Green MLA Karla Bernard asked for an update on government's new plans — and Trivers said work is underway, and he intends to make an announcement soon.   

"It is definitely my goal to have a universal school-food program in every school across Prince Edward Island by September 2020," Trivers said.

Pilot project this year

Bernard said a universal lunch program was identified as a priority by all three parties — and she said access to healthful food affects students' academic performance. 

"A school lunch program then is not just a way to address health inequity, it would also ensure that everyone of our kids gets a fair shot at achieving the success they deserve, whatever that looks like to them," Bernard said. 

Trivers said he "couldn't agree more" with how important such a program would be. 

Trivers said there will be a pilot program in some schools during the current school year, which will help to determine the exact details of an Island-wide program for next fall.

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