Food Security and Access to Country Food
Food security is linked strongly with the wellbeing of children, adults, families, and communities. During community dialogues, many people spoke about not having enough to eat, or not having access to nutritious, healthy, store-bought food or country food. We want Nunavut to be food-secure, meaning that all Nunavummiut at all times will have physical and economic access to sufficient, nutritious and culturally-relevant foods. Most importantly, we recognize the connection between food security with the ability to access country foods, which are linked strongly with other benefits including personal and cultural identity, skills development, and sharing networks in our homes and communities.
Our discussions about this theme conclude that to reach our vision of our communities free of poverty we must pursue the following goals and objectives.
A. The establishment of a “Nunavut Food Security Coalition”
There was a call during the public engagement process for those in leadership roles that deal with food security to work together for the benefit of all Nunavummiut.
We will establish a Nunavut Food Security Coalition, bringing together stakeholders from government, Inuit organizations, NGOs, business and researchers to develop a long term, ongoing, inclusive, and sustainable approach to food security in Nunavut. The coalition will act as a venue to share best practices and resources, for monitoring and evaluation, and will develop a territorial action plan on food security.
B. Enhancement of healthy breakfast and lunch programs in schools
Too many children arrive at school hungry and do not have access to nutritious meals. Food insecurity affects a child’s whole being, including his or her ability to learn, participate in the social environment of their classroom, and nurture strong relationships.
We support the strategic enhancement of breakfast and lunch programs to ensure that all children have access to and participate in the preparation of nutritious food every day. This will support all young Nunavummiut to develop the skills, knowledge, and relationships they need to pursue their goals throughout their lives.
C. Increased support for community-driven food security initiatives
During the community dialogues, participants emphasized the importance of community food sharing networks, which involve a variety of community-driven food security initiatives, such as community harvests, sharing of country foods, community freezers, and food banks. Such initiatives provide nutritious, desirable food and support community cohesion. Sharing of country foods is also linked strongly with other benefits, including personal and cultural identity, skills development, home management, and sharing networks in our homes and communities.
We will work collaboratively to increase support for community-driven food security initiatives.
Iqaluit's Niqinik Nuatsivik Food Bank is a volunteer-driven initiative that serves the food security needs of many Iqalummiut in need. Niqinik Nuatsivik is registered charity that receives the support of businesses and organizations in town, including one of the major airlines serving the territory.