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Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre and Community Food Centres Canada announce new partnership

TORONTO – June 1, 2020 | Amid an ever-deepening food insecurity crisis, Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) is proud to announce the launch of the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre in Iqaluit — the first of its kind in the northern territory of Nunavut. 

The Qajuqturvik CFC joins 12 existing Community Food Centres across the country that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all. These centres offer programs, such as drop-in meals and community kitchens, that increase food access, build skills and connection. As part of the partnership, Community Food Centres Canada provides funding to support core operations and programming.  

During COVID-19, all Community Food Centres have had to shift focus to preparing healthy meals and food hampers for takeaway and delivery. Nearly half of all households in Nunavut experience food insecurity, more than any other jurisdiction in Canada. And that was prior to the COVID-19 crisis, which has brought with it a soaring unemployment rate and increased need for emergency food aid across the country.

”We have a unique food environment in Nunavut, and we require novel approaches to addressing food insecurity,” said Wade Thorhaug, Executive Director of the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre. “Community Food Centres Canada has been crucial in supporting us to build a place for people to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food in a healthy, dignified manner. Now more than ever, the vulnerability of our food systems is clear, and by advocating for change with CFCC we hope to come out of this pandemic with a fresh approach to food security for Nunavummiut and Canadians.”

“Food insecurity has long been a challenge in Canada’s northern communities — the current crisis has only magnified this reality,” said Nick Saul, CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. “We’ve been working with the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre for several years and we’re excited to officially celebrate the partnership today. We’re proud to both support and learn from them as part of CFCC’s commitment to investing in Indigenous communities, and look forward to working alongside them as they adapt the Community Food Centre model to meet the needs of their community, in these uncertain times and beyond.”

First established in the 1990s as a soup kitchen, the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre has been responsive to the community’s changing needs over time. In 2016, the centre shifted its focus toward empowering programs that increase access to healthy food, build food skills and foster a sense of community — from a pre-employment culinary skills training program to an after-school cooking class for kids. Then, in 2018, Qajuqturvik CFC formed a collaboration with Community Food Centres Canada to deepen this commitment to empowerment.

The Qajuqturvik CFC is the second Community Food Centre in an Indigenous community, the first in Inuit Nunangat and one of 25 partners in CFCC’s Indigenous Knowledge Sharing Group, which creates a space for our Indigenous partners to share the unique experiences of their communities as they work to develop a culturally relevant “place for food.” CFCC has also provided grants to Indigenous communities through its Good Food Access Fund established in response to COVID-19.

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Media contacts: 

Wade Thorhaug, Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre, 867-979-4863, wade@qajuqturvik.ca 

Kennedy Sherwood, Community Food Centres Canada, 519-496-3743, kennedy@cfccanada.ca

About Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre  

The Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre is a welcoming space that brings the Iqaluit community together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all. By providing a dignified space for the community to connect and celebrate food, the centre works to address issues of food insecurity, poor health, and poverty.

About Community Food Centres Canada 

Community Food Centres Canada builds dynamic and responsive Community Food Centres and food programs that support people to eat well, connect with their neighbours and contribute, through advocacy and mutual support, to a more just and inclusive Canada. With our 200+ partners, we work to eradicate poverty, food insecurity and improve the health and well-being of low-income Canadians. Learn more at cfccanada.ca

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