By Dave Baxter
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A new agreement has been signed, as those looking to feed the underprivileged in this province hope to bring more affordable and healthy foods to northern and isolated communities it was announced Tuesday.
“Bringing food to remote First Nations communities has always been a challenge for food banks due to the high costs of transportation,” Harvest Manitoba president and CEO Vince Barletta said in a release, announcing that a memorandum of understanding
(MOU) has been signed between Harvest Manitoba, Anishininew Okimawin (Island Lake Tribal Council) and Food Banks Canada.
The agreement, according to Harvest Manitoba, will create partnerships to bring food banking operations to approximately 15,000 residents in the Island Lake Region in northern Manitoba.
“This partnership, working with First Nations leadership, holds great potential to improve food security in some of Manitoba’s most food insecure communities,” Barletta said.
With the agreement signed, Harvest Manitoba said that residents in St. Theresa Point, Wasagamack, Garden Hill and Red Sucker Lake will now be able to access food from food banks that will be set up in those communities.
Harvest Manitoba recently became the first registered food bank with Nutrition North Canada, a federal program that supports food security in northern and isolated communities.
As part of the program, charities and food banks are now able to claim subsidies for transporting and distributing food and essential household items in eligible northern communities.
“The inclusion of food banks and charities in the Nutrition North Canada subsidy program will help address the immediate needs of the most vulnerable residents in northern and isolated communities, while the program continues to work with communities toward long-term solutions,” Barletta said.
-Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.