Inuvik's Muslim community opens Arctic Food Bank

A second food bank is opening today in Inuvik, N.W.T., thanks to the hearts and effort of the town's Muslim community.

Shelves are stocked with pantry items; organizers say they will stock food bank with local meat and fish

A sign is prepared for the new Arctic Food Bank, which opens today in Inuvik. (David Thurton/CBC)
A second food bank is opening today in Inuvik, N.W.T., thanks to the hearts and effort of the town's Muslim community.
The Arctic Food Bank, located behind Inuvik's Midnight Sun Mosque, opens Friday afternoon. (David Thurton/CBC)

The Arctic Food Bank was announced in September of 2014. Located behind the Midnight Sun Mosque, its shelves are stocked with food from the Muslim Welfare Centre, a charity organization based in Toronto.

Muhammed Ali, the centre's vice president, says that people have been asking why his organization decided to help establish a food bank so far from Toronto.

"I say, 'Why not?' if there is a need," he says. "This is Canada. We are going out of the country, we go thousands and thousands of kilometres to the other countries of the world to help. Why not help the people here first?"
Muhammed Ali, the vice president of the Muslim Welfare Centre, says the new food bank will work with local hunters and organizations to provide elders with local food like caribou and fish. (CBC)

Ali, who will be at Inuvik's Midnight Sun mosque today for the food bank's official opening, says that the centre is already stocked with pantry items like flour, rice, soup, and canned tuna, but that they aspire to provide more local fare to community elders soon.

"We will be working with the local hunters here, and with the fishing communities, to provide us the fish and caribou meet, reindeer meat, or whatever the local meats are," he says.

The Arctic Food Bank is the second in Inuvik, following the volunteer run Inuvik Food Bank. The official opening is at 2:00 p.m. local time Friday afternoon.