City of Iqaluit provides funding boost for healthy food

2 daycares, Uquutaq Society and city’s recreation department included on list of recipients

Kids on the Beach Daycare will receive $10,000 from the Government of Nunavut’s Food Security Funding. (File photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

At one daycare in Iqaluit, a $10,000 stipend from the city will give nearly 50 children two meals a day for a year.

“[It’s] big for us,” said Visaka Wijesooriya, director of Kids on the Beach daycare. “This support is very important to buy healthy food for the children.”

Council approved the stipend July 27 as part of a motion that allocates $60,000 between four organizations to help improve access to food.

Wijesooriya says Kids on the Beach usually receives $5,000 per year from the city for food, which covers about six months of costs. Doubling that means she doesn’t have to worry about where the daycare will find money to cover the rest of the year.

The food Wijesooriya serves to the children is all homemade, she said, which costs a lot.

“We don’t have to worry about that [now],” she said. “We are able to purchase country food, fruits, vegetables, other meat and dairy.”

The money comes from the Government of Nunavut’s food security fund.

First Steps and Kids on the Beach daycares received $10,000 each and Uquutaq Society and the city’s recreation department each received $20,000.

The recreation department plans to feed elders lunch every day, which sometimes includes country food; Uquutaq Society will feed 56 of its residents breakfast and dinner from Monday to Friday; and First Steps will provide two snacks that are often regarded as breakfast and supper, according to their applications.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Impressive If True on

    OK, let’s check the math. If the daycare is open just on weekdays, that’s about 260 days a year. Then maybe take away another 20 days for holidays and whatever, and say it’s 240 days. Feeding 50 kids 2 meals a day, so providing 100 meals a day for 240 days, is 24,000 meals total.
    .
    And they’re gonna provide 24,000 meals on a $10,000 stipend? That works out to $0.42 per meal. Hey, if they’re managing that, congratulations to them. Although I feel like these numbers may not be quite right, because $0.42 per meal doesn’t seem possible, it still sounds like they’re doing well at managing their funds.
    .
    Maybe some parents on income support could take note that cooking at home is cheaper than paying $70 on take-out for one meal for your family of 4.

    • Posted by O on

      Sad but true. Income support needs to end. Food vouchers or something is the way to go.

      I watched one of my neighbours (SA recipient) go through $1000 in income support in a single weekend. Friday night spent 100 at KFC for her 3 kids then spent 400 on useless plastic toys and very expensive processed foods at the Northern (frozen pizzas and pop anybody?). She then decided to go out with her friends (card games and smokes is my guess) and then didn’t even have the $70 left that she was supposed to save for rent.

      The problem isn’t funding. The problem is a critical lack of budgeting skills and basic reasoning. The GN should be focusing on this and maybe offer some programs to help parents. Sure, these are colonial “white man” concepts, but in reality, Nunavut is slowly moving into a modern economy and these skills are needed to survive.

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      • Posted by thank you on

        Good to see funding support for some of us who need it. Thank you. Meanwhile, the two commenters reek of white privilege and so does Nunatsiaq News. All they focus on are the negatives of any funding supports for those who are struggling. The second commenter does mention programming. Next time I go shopping when it’s income support time, I’ll look at the transients to see who they are looking at and the thought bubbles above their heads. Nunaziaq News will never change.

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        • Posted by First Commenter on

          Hi “thank you”. If you actually read my comment, you’ll see that I fully support this funding. So saying that I focus on the negatives of any funding support for those who are struggling is just a wrong statement.
          .
          Also, my comment does not mention race whatsoever. First I explain how I think the daycare is doing a good handling their funding, and then I do take a shot at “some” social assistance recipients who I think spend their money frivolously because we’ve all seen it. I’d like to see you explain how my post reeks of white privilege.

  2. Posted by ThankYou on

    “Thank you”, where did you get the race rumble from? Being inuinnaq I buy basics and also observe what others have in grocery carts at the stores at times. The previous poster has a good point where maybe because we do without, we get in the habit of overindulging on junk or fast foods. The food money would go further on more basic stuff you have to prepare. Being taught is not a bad thing.

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