Health Leaders Welcome Investments in School Food Programs, Poverty Reduction and Active Transportation in 2023 Budget


Vancouver, B.C., February 28, 2023 –The BC Alliance for Healthy Living (BCAHL) commends the government for investments in school food programs, active transportation and increases to income and disability assistance rates.

“Over the past few years, we have been increasingly worried about the deteriorating health of low-income British Columbians due to the compounding pressures brought on by the pandemic and inflation,” said Christopher Lam, Chair, BC Alliance for Healthy Living and CEO, BC Lung Foundation.

This budget will give more British Columbians a chance to afford the basics, eat healthy and be active and safe walking or biking in their community. 

Everyone knows that good nutrition is essential to mental and physical health. In food insecure households, where you see poorer quality of food, fewer fruits and vegetables and skipped meals – there are immediate and longer-term health implications.  This is especially critical for healthy child development and can set the trajectory for health over the life course.    

Given the astronomical rise in food costs over the past two years, more households are experiencing food insecurity. But with the government’s investment of $214 million towards school food programming across BC, the province is helping to ensure that children have nutritious food to support their learning and healthy development. 

Because food security is alleviated with adequate income, BCAHL has long advocated for income assistance and disability rates that relate to the real cost of groceries and housing. We are encouraged to see that the province is increasing these rates for British Columbians who need it the most.

Budget 2023’s commitment of $100 million over the next three years for active transportation has been an investment that BCAHL has encouraged the government to make to promote physical activity and reduce emissions in BC communities. Research has shown that investment in active transportation is one of the most effective ways to support regular physical activity. 

A healthy diet and regular physical activity contribute to mental wellness and protects against numerous chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. 

“The treatment and management of chronic diseases is one of the largest cost drivers in our healthcare system and so we welcome all investment in chronic disease prevention and health promotion which is essential to reducing pressure on our over-burdened system,” said Lam.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Twila Amato
Manager of Communications and Projects
BC Alliance for Healthy Living
C: 604-655-7883