Helping our Northern Neighbours Project

As you know, Made by Momma supports families in Calgary and surrounding communities when they are experiencing times of adversity or crisis. But sometimes we extend our reach a little further if we can. It hurts our hearts to hear stories of families living in Canada’s extreme northern communities that are starving, often eating only one small meal a day, and hearing stories of babies being fed powdered coffee creamer rather than breastmilk, formula or cow’s milk. These families are living in a severe food security crisis.

Due to the incredibly high prices in the North, it is very common for families to not be able to afford the cost of basic necessities. Some of the general food staples prices are simply shocking… Tide laundry pods $31.99, a 24-pack of toilet paper $39.99, a box of Minute Rice $18.99, eight 295ml Minute Maid Punch Juices $47.49, one can of pie filling $13.99, one lb of butter $8.89, a single serve cup of Campbell’s soup $6.29, one box of Kraft Dinner $4.09, one container of baby formula $55.99, one box of 144 diapers $79.99 and more…..

Nunavut, specifically, has 15x the rate of suicides compared to the rest of Canada according to CBC. Recent news reports show that there is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness in these communities because there is high unemployment, low education, food insecurity and overcrowding.

The Helping our Northern Neighbours project offers some of these families the opportunity for support by asking organizations and individuals to send much needed care packages so that these families don’t go to sleep hungry.

Our Made by Momma team decided we could also provide some support to our Northern Neighbours. We are happy to share that we have “adopted” three families from Kugaaruk, Nunavut and have committed to helping support them over a three-year period. Our three families equal a total of 14 people: three moms, three dads, a 91 year old granddad; a 17 year old teen boy, a new born and five young children. Our Made by Momma team will collect the items most needed by our families and send boxes of food, baby care products, personal care items, school supplies, clothing and other items to help support them.

Items cited as most desired by northerners have been compiled by the Facebook group Feeding my Family;

  1. White flour
  2. Baking powder, baking soda,
  3. Cereal,
  4. Dry powdered milk/carnation milk,
  5. Toilet paper, Paper towels,
  6. Macaroni, pasta, side dish, or any kind of noodles,
  7. Side dishes, hamburger helpers,
  8. Canned fish – tuna, salmon, sardines
  9. Soups of any kind boxes or cans, chicken, beef, pork
  10. Rice – most northerners cook with Minute rice and Uncle Ben’s Converted rice
  11. Pasta or spaghetti sauces
  12. Canned goods of any kind
  13. Tea/coffee,
  14. Sugar
  15. Honey, jams, spreads,
  16. Peanut butter, peanuts, nuts, raisins
  17. Puddings powdered, or just add milk products,
  18. Shampoos baby/ adult shampoos, sanitary napkins
  19. Hand soaps bars/liquid or hand sanitizers,
  20. Detergents pods laundry/dishes,
  21. Baby food (dry), Tylenol or Advil for kids, diapers, pullups
  22. Cheese of any kind dried, packaged cheese whiz or miracle whip
  23. Dried fruits apples, bananas, mixed anything dried in cans, packages or boxes
  24. Biscuits’ pilot hard or soft of any kind,
  25. Cookies of any kind, just add water or packages
  26. Any juice of any kind – dried or powdered juices
  27. Winter clothes (highest rating – cold weather), winter boots, blankets, wool (not acrylic) mitts, gloves, scarves, toques.
  28. Brita filters
  29. Klim milk powder for Elders
    * Please note: this list was borrowed from the Feeding my Family Facebook page and is not necessarily the items we need for our particular families.

We know it takes a village, and Made by Momma is proud to be able to help and provide these families with a much-needed support system.

Our wonderful friends at the Kinette Club of Calgary have graciously made a financial donation to help cover some of the project’s expenses. Canadian North Air has also agreed to support the cost of air freight (which is incredibly expensive) into Nunavut. And finally, thank you to the Helping our Northern Neighbours  grassroots project for recognizing the situation of our fellow Canadians and doing something about it.

Please contact us if you too want to get involved and help support our three Nunavut families!
Donated items can be brought to our Resource Centre. (please check open hours)

#HelpingOurNorthernNeighbours #Nunavut #HONN #FoodSecurity #FeedingMyFamily