Nunavut elementary school parents go online to help hungry kids
“Food insecurity… a significant concern” for students at Iqaluit’s Nakasuk school
(Updated at 6:50 p.m.)
Members of the Nakasuk School Parent Committee have gone online to raise money to help nourish the 370 students at the Iqaluit elementary school, one of four in Nunavut’s capital city.
Their campaign reflects the findings of a new report on household food insecurity in Canada, released April 6, which says Nunavut continues to have the highest rate of food insecurity in Canada, with 60 per cent of the territory’s children living in food insecure households.
“Children need fuel from food to learn,” the parents says on the fundraising campaign page, hosted by youcaring.com, a free crowdfunding platform which says it “empowers people to help others overcome hardships and enjoy happier, healthier lives.”
By June 22 the committee hopes to raise $15,000.
“Please help us ensure all of the students have full tummies to focus on learning,” says their page, which cites a 2015 Statistics Canada on food insecurity that said Nunavut has a food insecurity rate of 36.7 per cent, the highest rate of all provinces and territories, and four times more than the national average.
Food Insecurity in Canada defined food insecurity as when one or more members of the same household do not have access to a variety or quantity of food that they need, due to lack of money.
The report found that households which relied on government benefits as their main source of income were over three times more likely to experience food insecurity than households where members received salaries or wages.
The report also found that food insecurity was more common among Nunavut households with children, than in those without.
“Food insecurity is identified as a significant concern for our students at Nakasuk,” the parents’ committee says on their page called “Nourishment for Nakasuk.”
The parents say many students depend on the meals which are served for breakfast and lunch at school, as well as the snacks available throughout the day.
Nakasuk also supplies many families with food hampers during the holidays in December.
“At Nakasuk, we feel great pride in the talents and diversity of our student population — students benefiting from the donations are singers, hockey players, dancers, hunters, actors, skaters, runners, choir members and participants in our after-school sports programs,” the committee says.
You can find the Nakasuk crowdfunding page here.