Iqaluit, Nunavut – Health Canada has announced $4.43 million in funding for nutrition education programs in isolated northern communities.
Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Health minister, says the funding will run over two years and will support those communities by bringing in healthy fresh and frozen foods under the new Nutrition North Canada program.
“Eating healthy foods is an essential part of overall good health,” says Aglukkaq. “…We want to ensure that we are helping communities increase their knowledge of healthy eating and allow them to develop skills for selecting and preparing healthy store-bought and traditional or country foods.”
About Nutrition North Canada
Nutrition North Canada will officially replace the Food Mail Program on April 1. The new program is a cost-effective, market-driven model that is designed to ensure that healthy foods are more accessible to Canadians living in isolated Northern communities.
Nutrition North Canada will provide funding directly to retailers/wholesalers/processors/distributors and will help them negotiate the best possible prices for their customers.
The government will also set out responsibilities in terms of program accountability and transparency with those retailers/wholesalers/processors/distributors. These parties will receive funding based on the total kilogram weight of eligible items shipped to each eligible community.
In 2011, funds from Health Canada will support eligible communities with planning and transitioning to the Nutrition North Canada program in April.
Funds are in the process of flowing to the territorial governments of Nunavut and Northwest Territories, to Old Crow in Yukon and to the Health Canada regions of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic.
Some examples of how these funds are being used include:
• Workshops for community workers to introduce the new program;
• Workshops on cooking skills for adults, teens, parents and children; and
• Resource materials are being developed and supplies are being purchased to help community workers lead activities such as in-store taste tests and cooking classes.