May 29th, 2020
LETTER: Food Security Funding Must Be Expanded
Dear Minister Vandal,
This is a follow up to my unresponded letter, dated April 14th, calling on your department to expand the Nutrition North Program to ensure communities already dealing with food insecurity in our constituency are covered, and receive enough food during this time of crisis.
Since that time, I have heard from communities in my riding that are experiencing shortages of essentials and prices that continue to be too high. Clearly the help that is being offered by your government simply isn’t enough.
It’s no surprise, then, that public charities are stepping up to the plate but it shouldn’t be this way. While I appreciate the willingness of the Sprott Foundation to collaborate with the North West Company to deliver food for northern Manitoban communities, the food security of First Nations and Northern communities should not be left to charity.
Can your department provide a detailed breakdown of which communities in Churchill--Keewatinook Aski were supported through the Nutrition North program funding your government announced on April 14th, and how much was spent on each community. Furthermore, what information do you have outlining the extent to which essential goods have been made more affordable in communities during this crisis.
Minister, I urge your department to expand funding for food security initiatives in our region. Lives depend on it.
MP Niki Ashton (Churchill--Keewatinook Aski)