Expired food at high prices? Nunavut protesters want you to help say 'no more'

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Photo: Angela Scappatura Photography

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Feeding My Family is an organization that raises awareness about the high cost of food in the North. We are holding a peaceful protest on Saturday June 14, 2014 between 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. In Iqaluit, this will be outside NorthMart. Other communities are welcomed to join. What follows is an open letter explaining why Feeding My Family is taking action:

Hello All,

A peaceful protest will be held across Nunavut on Saturday June 14. In Iqaluit, it will be held outside the NorthMart between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Other communities are welcome to join.

This one will be High Cost of Expired Food, plus non-expired food. It is one thing to pay high cost for food, but to buy expired food? We need to keep standing up to the stores to show them that we are not going away, we have no choice in this. This will not go away by itself, we have to stand together as one to fight this, otherwise our children and grandchildren are going to go through it. Our ancestors worked hard to save our kind, it is now our turn to do the same for our generations to come. I do not want children or elders going to bed hungry, this is wrong, totally not right.

We live a different world than our ancestors, we do, it is not the same, and we have to learn to stand up for our people, our people. I know protest is not the Inuit way, and I don't like doing it but we live in a different society now. I am not saying we lose our culture, I am saying we learn another culture to survive in this world. Let's do it for family members and other community members that we know have a hard time putting food in their stomachs. Let's do it for those that get tired of drinking tea because that is all there is to eat. You know, in the last several years I have a lot of elders coming up to me and thanking me for this, this is supported by a lot of elders, and that is really good to see.

For others that do not want to protest, let's swarm the Parliament with letters. Below, you’ll find a letter that you can send to your MP, you will need an address for your MP and an envelope. Let's send it through mail. This has the potential to be seen more than an email, let's give them the hard copy.

Send this letter between the week of Monday June 9, 2014 to Friday June 13, 2014. You can send it daily if you want, it does not cost anything when you send letters to your MP. We will have so many letters going to Parliament concerning this issue. If you support this idea in principle, send this letter away. If you are not from Canada, send it to your Ambassador to Canada.

Some day we will make a change, we have to keep on trying over and over again. I am tired of being treated like crap by the stores. That is how they treat us by marking food prices really high, they treat us like shit (pardon my language).

I know for some of you, you may not be allowed in the store for doing this, but if we keep putting up with this, our children are going to be treated like this, for me, I don't want that. This may not change right away but we can try bit by bit, thank you for reading this and thank you for all the support we have received to date, thanks.

Feeding My Family raises awareness about the high cost of food in the North. We are holding a peaceful protest on Saturday June 14, 2014 between 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. In Iqaluit, this will be outside NorthMart. Other communities are welcomed to join.

Here is the letter you can send to your Member of Parliament. You can find your MP's mailing address by clicking here.

Dear _______,

I am writing about the shocking level of food insecurity in Nunavut. Seven in ten families in Nunavut go hungry each month. The cost of food in the territory is on average 140 per cent higher than the rest of Canada, and often the food sold in stores is expired. Food is a basic human right, and this situation must change.

The monopoly in food retailers, the high cost of air transportation to the isolated communities, and the lack of regulation on the sale of expired food are major causes of food insecurity in Nunavut. A national strategy on food security, built into the federal budget, could address these causes. Two years ago, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, strongly recommended a national strategy for Canada to promote and protect the right to food for everyone in the country. There has still been no action by the government towards this.

I am dedicated to working towards reducing the high cost of food in northern communities and committed to see the end of the sale of expired food products. While it may not be much it is a start. The implementation of regulation to reduce the high cost of food and prohibit the sale of expired food products would lessen the hardship for families and bring healthier communities in Canada’s north. I am asking you to work towards bringing positive change in this area too.

Will you now work towards reducing the cost of food in the north and the prohibiting the sale of expired food products? What specific actions will you take towards this goal? 

Thank you for your time. 

[Name and address]


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Photo: Angela Scappatura Photography

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