Too many Canadians cannot get access to healthy foods and information on healthy eating because of factors beyond their control. Innovative policies and approaches are needed to remove these barriers and give Canadians the support they need to be healthy.
Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced $10.5 million over three years for seven projects to promote healthier lifestyles among young Canadians and their families. The projects will target people in both urban and rural settings, as well as in remote, northern and underserved communities. This phase of funding will broaden the scope of the seven projects and expand their reach, while supporting broader policy changes.
These projects are part of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy that prioritizes action related to mental health and healthier weights, reaching more than 1.5 million people in over 800 communities in need.
“The projects funded today will help Canadians make important changes to improve their health, with the benefit of direct input and support from the community. For example, by working with youth to build cooking skills and foster peer support, these projects will make it easier for Canadians to lead healthier lives.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
“I am proud that we are supporting projects that focus on concrete actions like building environments for active transportation – such as walking and biking – in low-income neighborhoods. These innovative projects help create supportive environments for Canadians to develop healthy habits and address the common risk factors underlying many chronic diseases.”
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
“Ensuring that low-income Canadians are able to access the food they need to be healthy is a complex issue. PHAC’s Innovation Strategy has recognized that we cannot address this issue simply through charity or promoting better choices, but by getting behind projects that work to address the many barriers to health experienced by people living in poverty. This vision has enabled Community Food Centres Canada, alongside partners like the Dartmouth Family Centre, to innovate by building community food centres that offer welcoming, dignified places where people can connect with each other and grow, cook, learn about, and share good food.”
Chief Operating Officer, Community Food Centres Canada
- One in three Canadian children and two in three adults are overweight or obese. These figures have increased in recent years, and are contributing to the development of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
- Areas of focus for the Innovation Strategy: Achieving Healthier Weights in Canada’s Communities projects include:
- improving food security in rural, remote and Indigenous communities;
- empowering youth through culturally relevant activities that promote physical activity; and
- creating conditions for Canadians to make healthier physical activity and nutrition choices.
- The Government of Canada is investing more than $34 million in Innovation Strategy healthy weights projects between 2011 and 2020.