A Yellowknife restaurant owner wants to help students in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, eat healthy while the price of produce skyrockets, saying he's giving back to the people who once came through for him.
When Ed But, owner of Coyote's Steakhouse and Lounge, saw the price of food being posted on Nunavut Facebook pages, he says he had to do something.
He nearly lost his livelihood when pipes froze at his restaurant two years ago but he says Northern communities helped his business bounce back.
"Yellowknife and the North has supported me," he said.
"A big chunk of my customers are from Nunavut. They are supporting me. How can I support them?"
But decided to send fresh fruit once a month to the two schools in Kugluktuk. He reeled in Buffalo Air and Northbest Distributors to provide and deliver the food at a discount. But is taking care of the rest.
'They don't have to worry about being hungry'
Tiffany Kelley, acting principal at Kugluktuk's elementary school, says it already has a breakfast program, but it's usually limited to cereal and milk, and a lot of kids show up too late to take part.
But's donation means apples, bananas and frozen berries for smoothies will be available all day.
"This fruit will be around the school in bowls," she said. "They don't have to worry about being hungry and they can come to the school and focus more on their academics."
The first fruit drop is on Feb. 3.
But said he hopes to expand the program to schools in Cambridge Bay and N.W.T.'s Sahtu region.
He's also hoping to make it a true community effort. Every Monday and Tuesday, he'll donate a portion of every Coyote's bill to the program. Customers simply have to sign their bill and place it in the donation box at the end of their visit to help out the cause.