Monday, 10 September 2012

@PMHarper @leonaaglukkaq @Nutrition_North numbers hard to swallow @nutrition_nord #CDNpoli

Nutrition North numbers hard to swallow
Nunavut News/North Editorial - Monday, Sept 10, 2012

The numbers are in, but they aren't saying much.

Nutrition North Canada has posted the breakdown of the dollar figures and weight of food and other products subsidized during its first 12 months, from April, 2011 to this past March.

Almost $54 million was allotted for Northern communities, with Nunavut receiving a total of 57 per cent of the budget, between $7 million and $8 million every three months. Eleven million kilograms of subsidized items travelled to Nunavut.

The message in all this data is that yes, there is money coming from the federal government to retailers, suppliers and country food processors.

The question is: How much of the $31 million in cash savings goes to Nunavummiut families?

There are only two more weeks until more changes come to Nutrition North. Then, the list of eligible food and non-food for subsidies will shrink. No more subsidies for canned fruit and vegetables, frozen pizza, rice, toothpaste or diapers.

This will mean more of Nutrition North's budget will be stretched across fewer items, focusing on the most nutritious, perishable food.

The prices of previously-subsidized items will rise and the number of affordable choices, in places such as Grise Fiord with a subsidy rate of $16/kg, will decrease as well.

Still, the number that matters most is how many families are going hungry because the cost of living is still too high.

That number governments cannot be allowed to ignore in all their praise for Nutrition North.


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