Iqaluit’s food bank gets a boost

Niqinik Nuatsivik food bank shares more than $120,000 for food banks in the three territories


Iqaluit’s Niqinik Nuatsivik food bank will share more than $120,000 with food banks in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, Food Banks Canada announced March 28.

“This is huge for us,” said Niqinik Nuatsivik’s Jen Hayward in a news release. “The support will go a long way in meeting our ever increasing demand. “Though individuals and the business community in Iqaluit are incredibly supportive, we need all the help we can get.”

Niqinik Nuatsivik has operated in Iqaluit since 2004.

The support to northern food banks is part of a settlement paid out to Food Banks Canada from a vitamins class action lawsuit, which was launched against pharmaceutical companies for vitamin price fixing.

Food banks weren’t involved in the court action, but many across Canada will now benefit from the more than $1.5 million that came from the 2007 settlement.

But not all food programs in Canada will benefit, and food banks in other Nunavut communities in Nunavut won’t be seeing any of the windfall.

“Not all food programs are registered as charities with the Canadian revenue agency,” said Marzena Gersho, a spokesperson with Food Banks Canada. “As a charitable organization, we’re only able to distribute funds to registered charities.”

Niqinik Nuatsivik has status as a registered charity.

Food Banks Canada’s executive director, Katharine Schmidt, said that providing support to northern food banks is especially important considering the most recent results of their annual “Hunger Count” survey.

The survey found that food bank use in the territories had increased by over 70 per cent during the recent economic recession.

“Hunger is a persistent problem right across Canada,” Schmidt said. “We are very pleased to be able to distribute these funds to food banks in areas with very high rates of food insecurity, and that do not have access to a large funding base.”

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