October 2, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
COVID-19 has presented significant challenges to communities across Canada, and has amplified existing vulnerabilities for Northern and remote communities. It has particularly highlighted the impact on local food organizations, the need to continue to support them, and the crucial services Canadians rely upon to be safe and healthy.
Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, announced on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, an investment of over $1.1 million from the Government of Canada to improve food security for residents throughout Nunavut facing the social, economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds were distributed by five national organizations who worked with 30 organizations such as municipalities, food banks and schools to meet urgent and increased food needs for Northern and Indigenous communities. Organizations will be able to use funds to buy and distribute food, hire temporary help to fill volunteer shortages, and implement biosecurity measures such as personal protective equipment to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among volunteers and clients.
This funding is part of the $100 million Emergency Fund for food security announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in April to position food banks and local food organizations early in the pandemic to respond to increased community needs.
Key national food security organizations have been instrumental in distributing this funding, including Food Banks Canada, Community Food Centres Canada, Second Harvest, the Salvation Army and Breakfast Club of Canada.
More than 1,800 food banks and local food organizations across Canada have been helped by the funds from the Prime Minister’s announcement, which is estimated to help serve over two million Canadians with six million meals.