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'This country is ready for it': Vancouver teacher runs 90 km in a day for school lunch funding


Brent Mansfield spent his Friday running laps around Lord Roberts Elementary School in Vancouver's West End.

He started at 6 a.m. and ran 200 laps in total, about 90 kilometres. But this wasn't just a personal fitness challenge. It was also a call to action.

"The reason we're running 200 laps is because the government of Canada in 2021 committed $200 million a year to develop a national school food program," the Grade 6-7 teacher told CTV News.

"We're ready for it. My students are ready for it. This country is ready for it."

Mansfield is the co-founder of LunchLab, a program at Lord Roberts and two other schools that pairs students with chefs-in-residence to prepare healthy meals for their classmates each day. 

The program charges families a sliding scale based on what they can afford, with subsidies available for those unable to pay and opportunities for families to subsidize other students at their school.

Mansfield said the federal Liberals' promise to fund a national school food program is the kind of investment needed to bring LunchLab and programs like it to every school.

He praised the B.C. government for committing $214 million over three years to school food programs in its last provincial budget, and said it's time for the feds to step up.

"I've been teaching in my classes about how to use creativity to get attention, to advocate for others," Mansfield said, explaining the thinking behind Friday's stunt.

"Whatever it takes. Canada, let's wake up and take care of something that's really important to all of us: Feeding children well." Top Stories

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