An aircraft owned by Perimeter Aviation that is carrying food for two northern Ontario First Nation communities has made both of its stops as part of CBC Thunder Bay's 2017 Sounds of the Season.
The company's itinerary took them to North Caribou Lake and Sachigo Lake First Nations, two communities hundreds of kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay. Perimeter Aviation is partners with Bearskin Airlines, a long-serving regional carrier in the northwest.
"I've been with Bearskin [Airlines] ... for a long, long time, and Perimeter's history in the north is as long as Bearskin's," said Ron Hell, the director of marketing and sales for the company.
"It's dear to my heart to be able to help those who need our help and particularly at Christmas."
Perimeter's Dash 8-300 plane carried over 4,200 kilograms of food on its trek north. About half was delivered to each community.
The plane touched down in North Caribou Lake (also known as Weagamow or Round Lake) first on Friday. The food was delivered to one of the community buildings where it was then distributed to families in need, said Caleb Sakchekapo, a councillor in North Caribou Lake.
"Fresh produce, anything like fruits, vegetables, those kinds of things, they're not ... affordable sometimes," he said, adding that when it does arrive, it's not always fresh. "Sometimes we get lucky, but most of the time, not so much."
"Hopefully the people that will benefit from this will appreciate the generosity."
The plane then took off for Sachigo Lake where it dropped off the rest of its cargo.
Sachigo Lake Coun. Pauline Greene told CBC News the food will go a long way in her community of about 500 people.
"With the high cost of living up north, this will help [families] stretch their money and have a better Christmas," she said. "With this food, it will alleviate some of the stress for the household."
Greene added that she was pleasantly surprised that fresh produce — as well as some other goodies for the kids — were included. "I saw some toys there for the kids, I'm just amazed at what came in."
"I'm happy, really happy."
In total, Sounds of the Season is expected to provide food—ranging from canned goods and other pantry items to fresh produce—to more than 8,000 people, many of whom are children.