The Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated are collaborating to invest $2 million in community food programs for children and elders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community food programs that feed elders and children will benefit from $2 million in funding from the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., according to an announcement on Friday.
NNSL file photo

Iqaluit will receive $200,000. Communities with more than 1,000 people will get $90,000 and those with fewer than 1,000 residents will receive $40,000. Municipalities will decide, as early as next week, how to spend the funding on food distribution using existing networks, according to a Friday news release issued jointly by the GN and NTI.

“School closures have left too many of Nunavut’s children without the breakfast or lunch programming that helped alleviate food security issues in our communities,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “We are committed to helping all Nunavummiut as we face this pandemic, and we are very happy to be able to provide for our children and elders in partnership with NTI during this uncertain time.”

NTI President Aluki Kotierk added, “Immediately, it’s important to focus on preventative measures. This includes access to nutritious food as a way to boost immune systems. I encourage every community to be broad and creative in their approach to roll out this program.”

The Government of Canada also announced $100 million for food banks across the country on Friday, but a breakdown of how much would be devoted to Nunavut specifically wasn’t yet available.

“Ensuring all Canadians have access to nutritious food during this difficult time is a priority for our government. As the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food stated in the Government of Canada’s press conference earlier today, Indigenous and Northern communities would be included in this funding,” stated Allison St. Jean, press secretary for the Minister of Northern Affairs. “Funding will be delivered through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund to the organizations identified. The government is committed to giving food agencies the support they need to keep helping Canadians during the COVID pandemic.”

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Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...