Community Kitchen Project – Inukjuak – 2013-2016
With funding from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s Community Innovations Program, channelled through Makivik and KRG’s socio-economic development programs, Saturviit administered $118,500 over 3 years to support the Inukjuak Community Kitchen – a pilot project targeting food insecurity at the community level. Inukjuak was one of 3 Nunavik communities selected to operate such a community kitchen. Over the span of 3 years, the project’s local advisory group was challenged to find a suitable kitchen location, to staff the weekly hot meal and bannock programs, to enlist a core of volunteers for kitchen assistance and delivering meals to elders, and to involve community members in need. Primary services were providing weekly hot meals to individuals on social assistance, single parent families, and elders. An additional service, recognizing the need, was to maintain a supply of family-size frozen meals for emergency distribution by social workers. The project evolved through partnerships within the community – with family house, workforce training centre, community health and social workers. During 3 years, more than 3,600 meals were provided to individuals and families in need, countless rings of bannock were distributed to elders, and scores of volunteers (mainly from the job readiness and young women’s group home) were recruited and became committed to the project. A renovated trailer donated by the municipality is now the central location for the project, and a formal project evaluation has given high marks for nutrition and cost-effectiveness of meal production. The next task is to turn the pilot project into a sustainable community resource.