Challenges Facing Canada

Poverty and food insecurity are disproportionately high for Aboriginal children in Canada.

One in ten Canadian children is growing up in poverty. In 2014, 36.9% of food bank users were children under the age of 18 (although they make up only 21% of the population). One in FOUR Aboriginal children in Canada is growing up in poverty. In 2014, 13.6% of food bank users were Aboriginal (although they make up only 4% of the population). The Aboriginal population carries a disproportionate burden of nutrition-related illness, including nutritional deficiencies, childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Food insecurity for Aboriginal children (and adults) living on and off-reserve ranges from 21% to 83%, compared to 3% to 9% for non-Aboriginal Canadians.

Where We Are Going

Food Programs Canada

After-school programming with snacks! Manitoba, Canada © CFTC 2007

Expanding from feeding programs to nutrition and nutrition education.

Projects at Eel Ground First Nation (NB) and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation (ON) are establishing important baseline metrics and processes for community-based nutrition and nutrition education. CFTC is working collaboratively with agencies and Aboriginal leaders to address the issue of food insecurity. In-school, after-school and community-based breakfast and lunch programs continue and expand to include nutrition education for parents, teachers, cafeteria and health centre staff, and community leaders. CFTC’s Aboriginal Nutrition Program incorporates social, historical and political context to ensure it is culturally-appropriate, relevant and effective.

How We Are Getting There

Nutrition and nutrition education for children, parents, teachers and communities.

Aboriginal Nutrition Program

One in four Aboriginal children in Canada live in poverty and experience chronic food insecurity, and that number is rising. The social and health impacts, and loss of future potential to our country, are staggering. That is why CFTC focuses our nutrition and nutrition education programs in Canada on Aboriginal children and youth living both on and off reserve.

Addressing Inner-city Poverty

For underprivileged youth in Toronto and Montreal, programs offered by Toronto First Nations School and Atelier 850 to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth in need, offer critical nutrition, recreation, socialization and community-building benefits.

School Gardens

School gardens bring multiple benefits in four of CFTC’s beneficiary communities: increasing knowledge about proper nutrition, building skills, providing environmental enhancements, and inspiring a sense of community belonging and pride. Knowing how to grow fresh fruit and vegetables and incorporate them into students’ regular diets reinforces healthy eating behaviours.

Nutrition Education

CFTC’s work with elders and health centre staff at Eel Ground First Nation and Elsipogtog First Nation, both near Miramichi, NB, includes a community and parent education program to expand nutrition education beyond our continuing support for in-school feeding.

Community and After-school Nutrition Programs

In some of Canada’s most impoverished communities, poor nutrition and food insecurity go hand-in-hand with unemployment and under-resourcing in social services and recreational facilities for children and youth. Supplementing these facilities with after-school snacks and nutrition programs enhances overall well-being in a community.

Mueni Udeozor Program Officer

Genevieve Drouin Regional Program Manager Americas

Click on the photo to download the report.

Click on the photo to download the report.

Partners In Change

Working side-by-side with First Nations stakeholders to deliver targeted support.

Our 2014 Canadian partners include:
  • Alaqsite’w Gitpu, QC
  • Atelier 850, QC
  • Cape Croker Elementary School (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation), ON
  • Eel Ground First Nation School, NB
  • Elsipogtog First Nation School, NB
  • Mah Sos School (Tobique First Nation), NB
  • Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club, AB
  • Thompson Boys and Girls Club, MB
  • Toronto First Nations School, ON

How You Can Help Children In Canada

See Change In Action In Canada

The right to food in Canada

UN Special Rapporteur Olivier De Schutter presents his findings from his trip to Canada, calling for specific action to right food security inequities.

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Good eats at Cape Croker Elementary

CFTC is delighted to announce a new partnership with the 750 members of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation near Wiarton, ON.

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Food insecurity at home

To those families who live with hunger and food insecurity in Canada, UN Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter's findings from his trip to Canada were unsurprising.

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