News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 26, 2021

PROVINCE INCREASES INVESTMENTS TO SUPPORT CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS, MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION

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Programs to Assist Over 33,000 Manitoba Students: Gordon

The Manitoba government is investing an additional $600,000 to support the expansion of healthy food programs in schools and regionally led programs focused on mental health and wellness, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

“These programs have a positive effect on the lives and well-being of Manitobans at every age,” said Gordon. “We know that healthy food helps children learn and be successful at school. The pandemic has shown us, in even greater clarity, the importance of having mental health promotion and wellness supports available to people throughout our province. Our government is proud to support these important initiatives to ensure programs are in place that support people throughout their lives to be healthy and resilient.” 

Our government is increasing funding to the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba (CNCM) by $200,000 to provide funding to school nourishment programs in more schools throughout the province. CNCM is a charitable organization that provides funding to Manitoba schools for breakfast, lunch or snack programs. Their registered dietitians also provide program support and nutrition education and training to participating schools. This new funding is in addition to $976,000 Manitoba provides annually and will help address the increased demand for healthy food programs in schools. This year, CNCM is supporting more than 271 programs reaching more than 33,000 students every day.

“This funding will help address an immediate need for nutrition support in our schools and communities, as well as work towards a brighter future for Manitoba students by ensuring students have an equal opportunity to learn in the classroom,” said Wendy Bloomfield, chair, CNCM. “Having access to nutritious food at school supports the health and well-being of students, families and communities and is essential in equipping students to thrive at school – setting them up for future opportunities to gain education, employment and vital skills for life.”

The Manitoba government is also providing $400,000 in new funding to Healthy Together Now, a community-led, regionally co-ordinated program focused on preventing chronic disease. Last year, the program funded 169 projects serving approximately 35,000 Manitobans and more than two-thirds were focused on mental health promotion.   

“In the Northern Health Region, we have seen a steady increase in Healthy Together Now applications related to mental health promotion,” said Helga Bryant, CEO, Northern Health Region.

“This increased funding will allow us to not only support the many important programs happening across the region, but also address the growing demand the COVID-19 pandemic created. Two areas we are very excited about enhancing are cultural awareness and our Towards Flourishing program. Towards Flourishing currently focuses on children and new parents, and we can now extend the program to all ages. This increased funding will allow us to reach a broader portion of the community promoting positive mental health in all ages.”

The province is currently consulting with Manitobans on mental health and wellness services and programs, with the goal of ensuring these are appropriately located, funded and supported. This will result in an integrated whole-of-government five-year action plan roadmap for mental health, wellness and recovery, noted Gordon.

The minister noted these two expanded investments will help to support ongoing mental health and wellness priorities as the consultation process and action plan are developed.

For more information, visit https://childnutritioncouncil.com/and https://healthytogethernow.net/

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