Government Commitments

Food Insecurity

Giving every child the best start in life

May 17, 2024

NationTalk: Every generation deserves a fair, healthy future – from kids, to parents, to grandparents. That means we support each other at every stage of life – starting from childhood.

The federal government has made generational investments such as the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Canada Dental Benefit, and the Canada Child Benefit, which together are helping families across Canada save thousands of dollars every year. Since 2015, we have helped lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

When it comes to supporting families and kids, we’re going to keep going. With Budget 2024, we’re delivering fairness for every generation.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today highlighted the new National School Food Program. With an investment of $1 billion over five years, the Program, included in Budget 2024, will provide meals to 400,000 more kids every year, beyond those served by existing school food programs.

This will mean peace of mind for parents and healthy meals for kids – helping them learn, grow, and get the best start to life. The Program will also be a safety net for the kids who need this support the most. We’re going to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners to get this program to schools across the country.

The Prime Minister also highlighted other measures from Budget 2024 to support parents, families, and kids:

  • Supporting after-school learning. Budget 2024 invests $67.5 million to help students, including Indigenous, low-income, and at-risk youth, reach their full potential. By investing in after-school learning and supports, such as mentorship and academic assistance, students will be able to better learn, grow, and succeed.
  • Launching a new Child Care Expansion Loan Program. With up to $1 billion in low-cost loans and $60 million in non-repayable grants, public and not-for-profit child care providers will be able to build new spaces and renovate their existing child care centres. This means more resources for child care providers and more affordable child care options for families.
  • Helping students acquire coding skills with a $39.2 million investment in CanCode. CanCode has helped over 4.5 million students ‒ from kindergarten through grade 12 ‒ develop coding and digital skills, so they can succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

These measures will help ensure our kids have everything they need to succeed, prosper, and reach their full potential. These are just some of the things that we’re doing in Budget 2024 to build a better and fairer Canada for every generation. We’re also building more homes, improving health care, and investing in our economy – to make sure every Canadian has a fair chance to succeed.


“Budget 2024 is about fairness – and that starts right from childhood. The measures we’re talking about today will support families, make life more affordable, and invest directly in the future of our kids. Let’s make sure our youngest Canadians can reach their full potential – feeling happy and healthy.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Fairness for every generation starts with ensuring every child in Canada has the best start in life. It’s why we’ve made transformative investments in our social safety net, such as affordable child care, the Canada Dental Benefit, and the Canada Child Benefit. But more needs to be done. That’s why in Budget 2024, we’re doing even more to build a better, fairer Canada for children and families and ensure every generation can reach their full potential.”

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Ensuring that every child has the best possible start in life is the drive behind so many of our investments. Budget 2024 is about ensuring fairness for everyone, and that includes the youngest amongst us. With measures such as the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Dental Benefit, affordable high-quality child care, and our new National School Food Program, children in Canada will be able to reach their full potential.”

The Hon. Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Manitoba is leading Canada in our universally-accessible school nutrition programming. Students can’t learn on an empty stomach. Providing meals to students who need them will help set them up for academic success and positive learning outcomes. Our government is providing a record $30 million into school meal programs to ensure that children have barrier-free access to food, particularly in areas where the needs are greatest and where students need it the most.”

The Hon. Nello Altomare, Manitoba’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada’s Budget 2024 was tabled in the House of Commons by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on April 16, 2024.
  • The new $1 billion National School Food Program includes investments that will support school food programming for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities as well as Self-Governing and Modern Treaty partners, many of whom have some of the highest rates of food insecurity in Canada. Investments will also support capacity building and engagement with Indigenous partners to develop culturally appropriate solutions. These partnerships will aim to tackle food insecurity by advancing Indigenous-led solutions and will further our work on reconciliation.
  • As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with investments since Budget 2021, the federal government is investing nearly $40 billion in early learning and child care. And in just three years, we’ve made incredible progress: Across the country, over 750,000 kids are already benefiting from affordable, high-quality child care, with some families saving up to $14,300 per child, per year. Alongside provinces and territories, we have also announced measures to create over 100,000 new spaces, well on our way to reaching our goal of creating 250,000 new spaces by March 2026.
  • To give every child the best start in life, Budget 2024 is also:
    • Increasing training for early childhood educators. We’re investing $10 million over two years to train more early childhood educators, building up the talent needed for the expansion of affordable, high-quality child care.
    • Improving child care access for military families. Military service often demands frequent moves and deployments, making quality child care more than just a convenience. Budget 2024 invests $100 million over five years to provide Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families with better access to child care on bases across Canada.
    • Launching a new Youth Mental Health Fund to ensure that younger generations have the access they need to mental health supports, so they can have a healthy start to adulthood. Budget 2024 proposes an investment of $500 million over five years to ensure youth have access to mental health supports in their community.
    • Ensuring a brighter and more prosperous future for First Nations children, youth, and communities with a proposed new investment of $1.2 billion in First Nations’ kindergarten to grade 12 education and $242.7 million to increase access to post-secondary education for First Nations students.
    • Keeping our children safe by protecting them from online harm. Budget 2024 proposes an investment of $7.5 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support Kids Help Phone in their work providing mental health, counselling, and crisis support to young people.
  • These new investments build on the significant progress we have already made to help kids reach their full potential and level the playing field for parents, including by:
    • Giving families more money through the Canada Child Benefit, to help with the costs of raising their kids and make a real difference in the lives of children in Canada. The Canada Child Benefit, which can provide up to $7,437 per child per year, is indexed annually to keep up with the cost of living.
    • Improving access to dental health care for children under the age of 12 through the Canada Dental Benefit, and soon for children under 18 with the Canadian Dental Care Plan, because no one should have to choose between taking care of their kids’ teeth and putting food on the table.

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