Manitoba

Gimli woman collecting food for northern First Nation

A Gimli woman is assembling emergency food hampers to send to St. Theresa Point. Clarina Taylor says she was contacted on Tuesday by family from the northern First Nation asking if she could spread the word about high food costs.

Gimli woman answering a call for help from St. Theresa Point by collecting donations for food hamper

A Gimli woman is assembling emergency food hampers to send up to St. Theresa Point, Man. 1:54

A Gimli woman is assembling emergency food hampers to send up to St. Theresa Point, Man.

Clarina Taylor says she was contacted on Tuesday by family from the northern First Nation asking if she could spread the word about high food costs.

"It's a hard time in January, February for people in the community who would normally be able to supplement their budgets with getting berries, fish, and things like that," said Taylor.

Taylor posted a call for food donations on Facebook. She said people are responding from Ontario to British Columbia.

Taylor said people are shocked by the price of groceries at stores in the north. 

"Just a crazy amount for something as simple as a little can of soup," said Taylor.

She said a can of Campbell's Soup costs her 69 cents in Gimli and $3.69 in St. Theresa Point.

The Northern Store in St. Theresa Point is operated by the Northwest Company. It also owns Giant Tiger and Price Chopper in Winnipeg.

In this week's flyer, a 1.77 litre bottle of Tide costs $4.00 at Price Chopper. In the Northern Store flyer, the bottle costs $9.19.

Northern Store boycotts

On Saturday, boycotts were held across the north asking people not to shop at any of Northwest Company's stores.

The boycott was organized by the Facebook group called Feeding My Family, which raises awareness about food prices in Nunavut.

Louis Knott, who lives in St. Theresa Point, supported the no shopping event.

"I was comparing our Northern Store's prices here with the food prices in Nunavut," said Knott on Saturday. "They are about $1 or $2 difference, so it's actually almost quite the same."

Knott reached out to Taylor to collaborate on a food drive.

Taylor said every person who donates a small bag of groceries or shares her status on Facebook will be entered to win a night's stay at Lakeview Suites in Gimli.

"We don't want to be just asking for things," said Taylor. "We want people to be understanding that community is driven by all and we will step up and do what we have to do. "

Taylor is asking for donations of non-perishable food items, including: rice, pasta, noodles, sugar, flour, tea bags, cereals, cookies, diapers, infant formula or baby food. She plans to send the hampers up to the community by winter road to cut down on costs. 

The food drive is happening for two weeks, to make sure the hampers get to St. Theresa Point before the winter road closes for the season.

Taylor said people can contact her on Facebook to arrange for donation pick ups in Winnipeg or Gimli. Donations made in Winnipeg can be dropped off at 235 Oakwood Ave.

She said all cash donations will be used to top up the hampers and pay for getting the food to the community.

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