Three organizations receive federal funding to make food more accessible in NWT

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The Local Food Infrastructure Fund, a five-year, $50-million program under the Food Policy for Canada has invested up to $55,885 to three organizations in the NWT.

The program is aimed at community-based, not-for-profit organizations. The mission of the program is to reduce food insecurity by establishing and/or strengthening local food systems in the medium to longer term.

362 projects across Canada, totaling $6.6M are being funded through the first phase of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which took place from August to November 2019.

Michael McLeod, MP for the NWT noted that through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the Government of Canada is assisting organizations in the Northwest Territories in the fight against food insecurity.

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“Supporting local food development and distribution is critical to having healthy Northern communities.”

Today’s announcement supports local projects by Northern Farm Training Institute ($25,000), Tłı̨chǫ Łeàgı̨ą Tsʾı̨ ı̨ lı̨ Kǫ ($19,385), and Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation ($11,500).

Kim Rapati, Operations Manager, Northern Farm Training Institute stated that preparing to store a harvest from this fall throughout the winter will be incredibly important for community local food security and this funding support will help NFTI to implement this.

“Through our Building Local Food Resilience project, we will increase our capacity to store the local food our students produce and greatly increase our ability to provide that food to the Indigenous communities, women, seniors, and youth in need. We will accomplish this through building a solar charging station so we have renewable energy for our garden equipment / produce transportation as well as building a large capacity root cellar to store the crops we produce for winter.”

Joe Pintarics, Executive Director, Tłı̨chǫ Łeàgı̨ą Tsʾı̨ı̨lı̨ Kǫ noted that they are using the funds to upgrade their kitchen, both to update the appliances and cupboards, but also to become better protective of the environment.

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“We are purchasing an industrial dishwasher so we can use ceramic cups and dishes for our homeless meals, rather than using single-use Styrofoam cups and plates. We are also getting a new stove and fridge/freezer for a better economy and better food storage capability. All this in the hope of providing better services to the homeless and indigent folks we feed at our center.”

With their funds, Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation will build infrastructure and facilities required to run a wild food kitchen in Lutsel K’e. The wild food kitchen would function both as a “community kitchen” where meals using traditional foods can be processed and cooked together.

Applications under the second call for proposals are currently being accepted. Visit the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website to submit an application.

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