Kids in North will be helped by new national school food program: minister

Federal government commits a billion dollars over 5 years; Idlout says it ‘will make difference’

Nunavut MP Lori Idlout, left, and federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree speak in Iqaluit on Monday. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Kierstin Williams

Noting that four in 10 Nunavut children are “struggling with food security,” a billion-dollar national school food program announced Monday will improve the lives of kids in the North, says Gary Anandasangaree, the federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.

The five-year plan was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the day and will be included in the federal budget when it’s presented April 16 in the House of Commons.

Across Canada, the aim is to provide around 400,000 children currently not served by existing school-based food programs with access to healthier meals. It’s expected to be in place for the next school year.

“Roughly 43 per cent of children in Nunavut are struggling with food security and we’re very confident that this will assist in alleviating some of the challenges that young people face especially in the territory,” Anandasangaree, who was in Iqaluit Monday, said in an interview with Nunatsiaq News.

Provincial and territorial governments “will play an integral role in distributing the supports to the school system that currently exist,” Anandasangaree said.

He added that Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. “will be a critical player in identifying and supporting the school food program” in Nunavut.

Currently, the federal government does not have a specific breakdown for how much funding will go toward Nunavut, Nunavik or regional organizations.

There was also no information available yet on how many children in Nunavut and Nunavik will be affected.

Anandasangaree said much of the support will be distributed through schools and that help will be provided to communities that do not have existing programs.

The Liberal government’s announcement follows a call by the NDP in March to implement a program to help families deal with the rising costs of living.

Speaking to reporters in Iqaluit on Monday, Nunavut NDP MP Lori Idlout said this program “will make a great difference.”




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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by S on

    Regardless if one advocates for increased welfare, the $1billion equates to $2.50 per child per day for food. Thatvwill be lessened, substantially, by administration expense, distribution cost, wastage, inflation, misappropriation, ad infinitum.

  2. Posted by Mit on

    God forbid their parents dare buy food instead of ciggies with their child tax.

    • Posted by Lives in Iqaluit on

      Sadly came to say the same thing. I would not be surprised if the ratio of starved kids is proportional to parents who smoke in Nunavut.

    • Posted by Johnny Oh Ima on

      I love how you assume that all parents do that, poverty is ugly and creates a lot of stress, parents try to do their best, I grew up in poverty and my parents never smoked or drank, they supplemented income with hunting when it was affordable.

    • Posted by Confused on

      Isn’t alcohol and marihuana way worst than buying ciggies?

  3. Posted by Ayungi on

    Hi Lori,

    I’m glad to see this coming to Nunavut as NorthMart and Coop stores has taken advantage of skyrocketing the prices in Nunavut where a days worth of meal for 4 is close to $200.00 .

    The stores or the politicians have no shame along with Government of Nunavut ADM, DM’s and Directors , who makes huge amount of dollars to a point some are making more than the PM of Canada and yet still complain they are broke 🙄🙄, – You might be broke as you take too many damn trips to the B&W store…

    • Posted by S on

      Hello Ayungi and thanks for your comment. I can almost feel your frustration with the powers.

      However, I think it’s worth assessing the cost of food at the stores. What is the cost for:

      One dozen eggs, loaf of bread, tub of yogurt, bag of apples, bunch of bananas, a few cans of beans, bag of potatoes, couple of turnips, head of cabbage, a chicken, and a few pork chops? Best guess $85 tops. There’d be plenty leftovers for tomorrow.

      • Posted by John WP Murphy on

        You must be joking! $85. LOL Clearly you have never gone to either Northern or the Co-op or in Iqaluit’s case BIC. Your half hearted shopping list would not be filled for $85

  4. Posted by Articrick on

    I was wondering where our MP was. Totally forgot that its her,lol

  5. Posted by Ian on

    Not a word from our MP on the carbon tax that just raised all our gas and heating products, happy April fools day Lori

    • Posted by Umilik on

      She wasn’t even present in the HoC to vote on that particular motion. In fact, she has been absent from the HoC on a number of votes. It doesn’t really matter as she’d vote along party-lines anyways.

  6. Posted by Mass Formation on

    Is this Reaction, Problem, Solution magic unfolding to accomplish the NDP/Liberal… “most environmentally friendly protein sources” agenda?

    Or make things troubling worse?

    As seen on how your MP votes, Nunavut’s MP votes for the carbon tax and No Halt to carbon tax.

    Automatically creating intentional higher prices across Nunavut.

    Though no worries. Nunavut’s high food prices are ok because the government will help to feed the kids.

    And no concern when the government imposed 30% fertilizer reduction on farmers kicks in. Creating less food and higher food prices.

    Because Canada has the largest cricket food farm in the world.

    Then is it to be expected under the banner of poverty and food? This billion dollar food program over the coming years will simply feed the kids bugs?

  7. Posted by John WP Murphy on

    When she is not in the HoC, she does vote electronically. And yes she does vote along NDP/Liberal party lines, and yes they did vote yes for the carbon tax and its increases. Please remember this when election time comes. In the 25 years of of Nunavut, there was only one MP who did anything for Nunavut and she was neither NDP, Liberal or Green.

  8. Posted by Hunter on

    On-line slots, Facebook bingo/raffles, local Bingo and pull tickets, local card games does more harm to our communities than good.

    If people do not have jobs, they should not be allowed to gamble the money intended to feed their kids, I think we should implement food stamps,

    Child tax, income support, GST etc all should come in the form of food stamps so people can only purchase food or essential items with the handouts their receive monthly.

    This way people who want to gamble will be forced to get jobs to pay for their gambling.


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