A National School Lunch Program Would Solve More Than Hunger

From the National Observer, October 19, 2020

School meal programs should be more than a meal — they should anchor school curriculum and root kids into their school, advocates say.

Canada is the only G7 country without a national school meal program, with a patchwork of school-based and regional programs partially filling a gap exacerbated by the pandemic. It’s an inadequate system that needs reform — an opportunity, say advocates pushing for a universal, national school lunch program, to rethink the role of food in Canadian schools.

“There’s three reasons why we don’t have a national school food program in Canada,” said Debbie Field, co-ordinator for the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a national organization advocating for a Canada-wide school food program.

Read the full article HERE:

OD-PREP: OverDose Prevention and Response Essential Practices Knowledge Exchange Series – Call for Submissions Now Open!

OD-PREP: OverDose Prevention and Response

Essential Practices Knowledge Exchange Series


 Call for Submissions Now Open!

To submit your work, click here!


It has been one thousand, six hundred and forty-nine days since the declaration of the overdose epidemic in our province.


And over the last four and a half years since that declaration, while great strides have been made in de-stigmatization and education there are still too few opportunities for community-based and grassroots organizations to establish provincial networks and share their latest work. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulting in an increase of overdose and drug poisoning deaths and restrictions surrounding in-person gatherings, it appears this issue is going to get worse before it gets better.


And so, while we grapple with the new normal the Community Action Initiative (CAI), the Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) and the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA BC) are working in partnership with a diverse Advisory Committee to create an opportunity for these groups to connect virtually and learn from each other while also bridging a connection to the general public in support of de-stigmatization of drug use. We call it OD-PREP: OverDose Prevention and Response – Essential Practices Knowledge Exchange Series.


We are looking for peer-led groups and community-based organizations from across the province to self-identify or nominate others whose approaches to overdose prevention and response are positively impacting the communities the work in to showcase in this knowledge exchange series.


Starting today, Monday October 19th, 2020 we are opening our call for submissions to any group who wishes to contribute to the knowledge exchange, regardless of funding source. We encourage you to read the full call for submissions here:, and share this call to any organization, group, or individual who may be interested in submitting their work for the series.


We will be accepting submissions until Friday November 20, 2020. If you have any questions about the project please contact us at: For more information about the project, check out the backgrounder below!

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Join us on PlaceSpeak and Make Public Health a Provincial Election Priority This Fall!

Public Health and the 2020 BC Election

Make Public Health a Provincial Election Priority This Fall! Join us on PlaceSpeak




This October 24, 2020 BC voters will be returning to the election polls to decide their next provincial government. Given the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the public health system, this election represents a crucial opportunity for public health supporters to advocate for increased resources and supportive policies and legislation that will improve the health of all British Columbians.


Public Health in the BC Election: More than an Ounce of Prevention” is a topic on PlaceSpeak, an online location-based community engagement platform, created by the Public Health Association of BC for British Columbians to ask questions surrounding the state of public health in BC and in their individual communities. We encourage all of our members to join the community and share the topic with your colleagues, friends and family.


Candidates from all 87 provincial ridings have also been invited to engage with their constituents via this topic and all political parties who have candidates running on the ballot in BC this year have been requested to complete our all-party survey on prominent public health issues. Their responses will be released on the topic in advance of the election date.


Resources have been provided on several important public health issues aimed to help the undecided voter choose the party that best reflects their values and links to all of the political party platforms are also available. The topic will be monitored by non-partisan public health professionals to ensure accurate, fact-based information is provided.


To join the community, follow the link below to create a free account and help PHABC put the “Public” back in Public Health!


Donate to Support a Universal School-Food Program in BC



Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, food security has become a prominent public health issue and the BC Chapter for the Coalition of Healthy School Food is dedicated to making it a key election priority. But they need your help!

By donating to Nourish Kids Now you will support the coalition’s capacity to focus on this important opportunity to make a universal school food program a key issue in the upcoming election. With your support they could make 2020 the last year any child in British Columbia goes without a healthy lunch at school!

In the last year, individuals and organizational members and endorsers of the Coalition, such as Fresh Roots and the BCGEU, have contributed a total of $15,000 toward the Coalition’ work. Will you chip in today?

To support the coalition’s work and donate today please follow the link below. If you are not in a position to donate right now, please consider sharing this campaign broadly with your networks.


Tomorrow, October 10 is World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the World Health Organization will, for the first time ever, host a global online advocacy event on mental health. At this event—the Big Event for Mental Health—world leaders, mental health experts and celebrity guests will join WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to tell the world what we can all do to improve our mental health and how we can help make sure that quality mental health care is available to everyone who needs it.

During the event, which will be streamed live on major social media channels, you will:

  • learn how WHO, together with our partners, is helping improve the mental health of people in countries throughout the world;
  • hear from national and international leaders about why they are making mental health a priority;
  • hear first-hand why internationally-renowned artists have become mental health advocates and listen to their advice for those who are struggling; and
  • listen to critically-acclaimed musicians perform some of their most popular music.

In the lead-up to World Mental Health Day and the Big Event, we will invite you to join the campaign, sharing messages, creating posts showing how you invest in your own mental health, and asking your questions of special guests through live Q and A sessions on social media.

Full details HERE