Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food reflects on World Food Day
Today more than ever, it’s important to promote World Food Day 2020, to make the public aware of the realities faced by those who suffer from hunger in the world, and of the actions we can take to ensure healthy diets for all.
This year, we also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), which was founded in Quebec City in 1945 under the leadership of future Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
And this year, in a special way, we also honour the many “food heroes” who continue to feed the world in the face of the severe pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Food Day 2020 is a call to “Grow, nourish, sustain together”, because “our actions are our future.”
Today, I am pleased to participate in a 24-hour Relay Global Conversation: “Voices of Food Systems”, bringing together participants from around the world, including many women entrepreneurs, leading up to the United Nations Food Systems Summit in 2021.
As the COVID crisis threatens to push millions more into hunger, we renew our resolve to work with the FAO and the international community to ensure a food-secure future for all, and achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially the second – zero hunger.
In Canada, we continue work together for a stronger food system. Under our first-ever Food Policy for Canada, we are investing to improve access to food; combat significant challenges in accessing healthy food in Canada’s North; increase consumer pride and confidence in our farmers; reduce food waste; and tackle food fraud.
I invite you to take this cause to heart. Let’s join forces to ensure that our food systems produce a variety of foods to feed a growing population, while saving the planet. I wish you all a memorable and meaningful World Food Day!
Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau,
Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
• The Local Food Infrastructure Fund, a project under the Food Policy, has helped hundreds of food aid organizations across Canada invest in a range of projects to better serve Canadians in need, especially during COVID, including new refrigerated trucks, kitchen equipment, community gardens, solar panels and irrigation systems.
• In addition to the Food Policy, the Government of Canada has also invested $200 million through the Emergency Food Security Fund, to support food security in Canada during the
• pandemic. To date, this funding has supported over 1,800 individual projects, which are estimated to have helped serve six million safe, healthy, and culturally-diverse meals to over two million Canadians.
• The Government of Canada has also invested $50 million in the Surplus Food Rescue Program, which is providing millions of pounds of quality, nutritious, surplus food to Canada’s most vulnerable populations.
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