Nobody should have to pay $28 for a head of lettuce anywhere — let alone in Canada.
That’s the belief that drives Jennifer Gwilliam, who spends her days organizing food care packages for people she’s never met. But she’s not even sending aid to a Third World country; she’s sending it to Canada’s remote north.
The high prices of groceries in Nunavut, for example —$47 for a box of laundry detergent or $105 for a case of water— have drawn increasing outcry from Canadians over the last few years.
“It was just shocking to see the prices they were paying for a head of cabbage or a flat of water,” Gwilliam told The Huffington Post B.C. “I was just appalled. It’s hard enough to make ends meet down here, let alone with those sort of prices. So I wanted to do something.”
After doing some digging, Gwilliam came across the Facebook group Feeding My Family, designed to raise awareness about the northern crisis and advocate for change. But she wanted to turn outrage into action, so she started her own Facebook group, Helping Our Northern Neighbours, last summer.
Gwilliam’s group matches people who want to donate packages of food and other necessities with those in the north who need it most.
People can either donate one box once, or choose to sponsor a family, meaning they regularly send care packages. There are no restrictions on what people can give, although many cater their boxes to the family they’ve been matched with.
There are over 400 names on Gwilliam’s list of people seeking assistance; just under half have received help in some way so far. She said many of donors (from across Canada) are living paycheque to paycheque themselves, but that doesn’t stop them from giving back. And everyone seems truly grateful for the help.
Candy Ivalutanar, who lives in Repulse Bay, Nunavut with her husband and two daughters under 10, said she cried the first time she received a care package.
“I told my husband, ‘I thought I wasn’t going to get anything. I thought nobody would want to ever help us.’ It touched me so much,” Ivalutanar told HuffPost B.C. She frequently tells her sponsor, who has sent a few boxes already, that she loves her.
“I love her for helping me so much,” she said. “Even if it’s just a little, I don’t care — that’s a lot for me.”
THIS IS IMPORTANT THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINKS AND DONATE IF YOU CAN OR WOW IF YOU ARE ABLE TO WHY NOT SPONSOR A FAMILY??
PLEASE THERE ARE BABIES WITH EMPTY BELLIES IN OUR DISTANT BACK YARD PLS HELP THEM