Partnership to Bring Food Banking to 5 Isolated Indigenous Communities in Ontario

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Everyone should have access to nutritious and affordable food, no matter where they live. Factors such as long travel distances and socioeconomic challenges make Northerners more vulnerable to food insecurity than those living in southern Canada. Recognizing the challenges that northern and isolated communities face are complex, the Government of Canada continues to work with partners to build local capacity and create the conditions for food sovereignty in the North and Arctic.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, congratulated the organizations on their new partnership, which is supported by Nutrition North Canada (NNC), a Government of Canada program that helps make nutritious food more affordable and accessible in northern and isolated communities and strengthens access to traditional foods and sharing networks.

Residents of five isolated communities in Northern Ontario’s Matawa Tribal Council region will soon have access to food bank services thanks to a new partnership between Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Food Banks Canada, Feed Ontario, Second Harvest, and the Regional Food Distribution Association. Over the coming months, this new partnership will help an estimated 3,000 people living in the First Nations communities of Eabametoong, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik, and Wunnumin Lake access food bank services by addressing logistical barriers in the region.

In August 2022, Canada announced enhancements to the NNC program so that food banks and charities can now claim the same subsidies as retailers and suppliers to help with costs.

In addition, KKETS, operated by the Matawa Tribal Council, recently received $4.5 million in grant funding from NNC’s Harvesters Support Grant and Community Food Programs Fund, which will support their food security priorities and can also be used for storage and distribution.

NNC continues to actively work with community partners across the North to ensure that food banking operations reach the most vulnerable residents in isolated communities.

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