Feds Announce Changes to Northern Food Program

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Ontario ApplesTHUNDER BAY – High prices for food in the North are a constant concern. When a three pound bag of apples can cost upwards of $13.00, and a litre of fresh milk can cost $5.00, eating well in many remote communities is very expensive. The Government of Canada have announced adjustments to the Nutrition North Canada program to ensure Northerners continue to have access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods. The announcement was made by the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament for Nunavut.

“Our Government is listening to Northerners. We have heard their concerns and we recognize Northerners want more time to adjust to Nutrition North Canada,” said Minister Duncan. “I am pleased to announce that we have expanded the list of foods eligible for subsidy from the Government of Canada to include all food, as well as most non food items until October 2012.”

This change will take effect April 1, 2011. The expanded list of items will help ensure a smooth transition to Nutrition North Canada and allow for two more cycles of sea-lift to bring goods to Northern consumers. The Government of Canada is also continuing to explore additional options to assist retailers and suppliers in adjusting to the new program and will be announcing those shortly.

“Today’s announcement is another example that our government is listening to Northerners,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “I heard the concerns and the views of Northerners and we took action. I will continue to work to ensure Northerners are heard and that this new program will help them by providing access to fresh, healthy and affordable food in the North.”

Nutrition North Canada was developed following three years of extensive engagement with Northerners. The Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board was created to provide information and advice to help guide the management and activities of the program moving forward.

“Today’s adjustments to Nutrition North Canada will be reviewed in consultation with the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board,” said Minister Duncan. “I have asked the Advisory Board to continue their discussions with Northerners. I intend to meet with the Board in the coming months to evaluate the program and make additional adjustments as required.”

Nutrition North Canada – Bringing Fresh, Healthy Food to Northern Homes visit online at: www.nutritionnorthcanada.ca