NORTHERN FOOD INSECURITY


Food insecurity is at crisis levels in many northern communities.

Poverty, along with a lack of access to logistics, proper infrastructure, and transportation has resulted in many Canadians living in northern and remote communities to experience disproportionate levels of food insecurity. We recognize the need is urgent and that the time for change is now.

Northern snapshot

While the food insecurity rate across the country lies at 12.7%, in Nunavut, that number is 57%—more than quadruple the national average. It is a complex and critical issue that requires a very specific set of solutions. Which is why Food Banks Canada continues to recommend greater focus and attention by governments when it comes to addressing the high levels of food insecurity in Canada’s north.

21.7%
of households in the Northwest Territories experience food insecurity
of NWT
1 in 4 Nunavut households report being in a state of severe food insecurity
MORE THAN HALF
of female-led, single-parent households in Nunavut are severely food-insecure1.
of female-led, single-parent households in Nunavut are severely food-insecure1.
17%
of households in the Yukon experience food insecurity
of Yukon
2x
In Iqaluit, the cost to feed a family of four would be $1,721.56; while in Ottawa it would cost $868—almost double the amount2.
food costs
1%
The average cost of the Revised Northern Food Basket in March 2018 was only 1% lower than in March 2011, prior to the launch of the Nutrition North program.
LOWER
Approximately 1/3 of the population of Nunavut are on social assistance
40%+
of visits to food banks in the northern territories are made by children
are children

Food Banks Canada’s approach to ending food insecurity in the North goes well beyond the food banking model.

We know helping people in need goes beyond the scope of food, which is why we’re focused on building relationships and working on place-based solutions in partnership with northern communities where food insecurity is at crisis levels. 

Examples of how Food Banks Canada is working in partnership with our northern communities

REOPENING TRADITIONAL FISHING GROUNDS

In 2021, to improve access to healthy food for a rural and remote community in northern Alberta, Food Banks Canada used a grant made possible through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Emergency Food Security Fund to help the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation reopen a path to traditional fishing grounds.

 

 

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REOPENING TRADITIONAL FISHING GROUNDS

RELIEVING HUNGER ALONG THE ICE ROADS

Amid growing calls for food bank services in northern communities this year, Food Banks Canada hit the ice roads with Harvest Manitoba and the Regional Food Distribution Association in Thunder Bay on a mission to improve northern food security.

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RELIEVING HUNGER ALONG THE ICE ROADS

DEDICATED NORTHERN FOCUS

In 2021, Food Banks Canada welcomed our first Northern Program Officer, Jason Stevens. In his role, Jason is focused on developing new relationships with communities in northern Canada to listen and understand their needs and challenges and to work with them to identify place-based solutions to address food insecurity in their communities.

 

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DEDICATED NORTHERN FOCUS

HELP US ADDRESS FOOD INSECURITY IN THE NORTH

1Source: Statistics Canada 

2The cost to feed a family of four in March of 2018 — source: https://www.nutritionnorthcanada.gc.ca/eng/1548078467819/1548078497301 

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