THUNDER BAY – The next time you are in the grocery store, and thinking that prices are high, consider that the further north you go, the higher the prices go. Prices for fresh fruits and vegetables can be amazingly high. John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has announced the implementation of the Nutrition North Canada subsidized foods list.
“For years Northerners have asked for a better alternative to the old Food Mail Program. Nutrition North Canada focuses its highest subsidy on the most nutritious, perishable foods such as fresh fruit, frozen vegetables, milk and eggs,” said Minister Duncan. “The subsidized foods list implemented today reflects input received from the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board, Northerners, nutritionists at Health Canada and other sources”.
There is a full explaination on the Frequently Asked Questions section of the www.nutritionnorthcanada.ca
In a release issued today, the department says, “The Government of Canada has implemented accountability measures for retailers and suppliers, and compliance audits confirm that they are complying with the program. Prices have dropped by as much as 37 percent on some products, such as two litre containers of milk, and on average, there has been an eight percent drop in the cost of the Northern food basket”.
“Our Government is ensuring that Northerners have improved access to quality, nutritious food,” added Minister Duncan. “We are seeing stronger partnerships between communities and local stores to promote healthy eating, more opportunities for communities to learn about healthy eating and gain cooking skills, and broadened outreach to youth.”
Nutrition North Canada is also funding community based nutrition education activities to increase knowledge of healthy eating and develop skills for selecting and preparing healthy foods. Nutrition education activities are underway across the North that include cooking classes, knowledge sharing on country or traditional foods between elders and youth, and healthy food tastings in local stores.
Family-friendly staples such as cheese spreads, side bacon and ice-cream are also on the subsidized foods list. The foods list, data and pricing reports, frequently asked questions and more information can be found on the Nutrition North Canada website.
The Nutrition North Canada Program is delivered in isolated, northern communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.