The owner of a Yellowknife restaurant has teamed up with Buffalo Airways to deliver fresh fruit to schools in remote northern communities.
Ed But, owner of Coyote’s Steakhouse & Lounge, says the new partnership is in response to high food costs in parts of Nunavut and the NWT.
“Coyote’s has always been community-minded and just recently on social media I’ve noticed the prices for basic necessities and food up north,” he told Moose FM.
“For 2016, I asked myself what I could do to help. A lot of times kids go to school hungry so it’d be nice to have fresh fruit for them to pick at whenever they want.”
The first shipment will be delivered to Kugluktuk, Nunavut next Wednesday where it will be distributed to secondary school students.
But says Buffalo only flies to the community once a month so shipments will have to coincide with the airline’s schedule.
In the coming months, he hopes to expand the program to communities like Cambridge Bay, Tulita, Fort Good Hope and Deline.
“We’re starting with Kugluktuk and then I’ve got numerous schools in the Northwest Territories that I’m talking with as well,” he said.
Buffalo has agreed to ship the freight at half the regular price while But’s vendor – Northbest Distributors – is offering a significant discount on the price of the food.
But says he wants to give back as much as possible because of the support he receives from his customer base.
“This town and the North have been really good to Coyote’s and my family so any little thing we can do to help out, we’d like to do it,” he told us.
To make it a true community effort, But says he’ll donate a portion of every Coyote’s bill to the program on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Customers simply have to sign their bill and place it in the donation box if they want to help the cause.