Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut June 11, 2014 - 6:54 am

Feeding My Family group takes aim at expired food

Protest planned in Iqaluit June 14

Leesee Papatsie takes part in a 2012 protest against high food prices in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)
Leesee Papatsie takes part in a 2012 protest against high food prices in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)

The cost of food is high enough for most Nunavummiut, but what about the high cost of food that’s no longer good to eat?

Members of Nunavut’s Feeding my Family movement are trying to bring the issue of expired food to the forefront, with an event planned in Iqaluit this weekend, along with a letter-writing campaign directed at Nunavut MP Leona Agglukaq.

Feeding My Family, created by Iqaluit resident Leesee Papatsie, started with a Facebook page drawing attention to the high cost of buying food in grocery stores across the North.

The page has attracted more than 20,000 members and national media attention.

Members regularly post images to the page of items from their local stores: $25 bottles of juice, a $40 bag of flour or a $75 box of detergent.

But many Nunavummiut say they’re frustrated about paying the same high prices for inferior products: lettuce that’s wilted, mouldy bread or freezer-burned fish and meats.

“It is one thing to buy high cost food but to buy expired food?” Papatsie wrote on the Facebook page June 2. “We need to keep standing up to the stories to show them that we are not going away, we have no choice in this.”

Papatsie invites advocates for lower food prices to meet in front of the Northmart in Iqaluit June 14 to participate in a peaceful protest against the availability of expired foods in Nunavut’s stores.

For those not able to take part, Papatsie also posted a template on the Facebook page for letter writers to send their message to Ottawa.

“The cost of food in the territory is on average 140 per cent higher than the rest of Canada, and often the food sold in stores is expired,” the letter reads. “Food is a basic human right, and this situation must change.”

“The implementation of regulation to reduce the high cost of food and prohibit the sale of expired food products would lessen the hardship for families and bring healthier communities in Canada’s north,” it reads.

“Will you now work towards reducing the cost of food in the north and prohibiting the sale of expired food products? What specific actions will you take towards this goal?”

Papatsie encouraged Nunavummiut and Northerners to continue their efforts to keep food prices down.

“Some day we will make a change,” Papatsie wrote. “We have to keep on trying over and over again.”

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