CAMBRIDGE BAY, Nunavut — The federal government is expanding its subsidy program for northern groceries to include feminine hygiene products and staple foods shipped by road or sea.
It’s the latest tweak to the Nutrition North program intended to reduce the high cost of living for northern families.
Labrador MP Yvonne Jones made the announcement in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
The $3-million expansion to the program means non-perishable items such as macaroni or diapers shipped by sea lift or on winter ice roads will receive a $1 per kilogram subsidy.
A 10-kilogram bag of flour in Rankin Inlet currently costs between $26 and $30.
Feminine hygiene products will receive the highest shipping subsidy, which varies in different communities from just over $2 per kilogram to almost $11.
“We will continue to explore solutions developed by northerners for northerners to ensure the program is serving those who need it,” said Jones.
The program, brought in by the previous Conservative government in 2011, has been criticized by northerners and researchers for failing to reduce food insecurity in the Arctic.
The Trudeau Liberals have promised reform and expanded the program’s budget and list of items eligible for the subsidy.
A study published this spring concluded the program doesn’t seem to have increased the ability of northerners to put food on the table.
The Canadian Press