Emergency food supplies packed for Pikangikum First Nation
Regional Food Distribution Association pilot project to deliver food for short-term disaster relief
It's part of a pilot project the association is undertaking this winter to discover the logistics of supplying emergency food to remote First Nations in Ontario.
On Sunday, teams of volunteers gathered at the RFDA warehouse to repackage bulk goods such as flour, rice and powdered milk into smaller amounts that would provide a small family with enough to eat for a few days.
'For us, it's a test'
Volunteer Elizabeth Pim was helping turn two 20-kilogram bags of rice into hundreds of small bags, each filled with three cups of rice, with cooking instructions stapled on the outside.
"I wanted to help out," she said. "It seemed like a very practical project — feed hungry people."
The emergency food supplies will then be distributed to families in the community on an as-needed basis through crisis workers at the health centre or the school.
Kromm said the pilot project will allow his organization and the First Nation to determine whether this system can meet their needs, and then find funding for it.
"For us it's a test. How do we get it there? What products can we ship without freezing and storage?" Kromm said. "These are big questions."
If the questions have satisfactory answers and the plan fits within the Nishnawbe Aski Nation's food strategy, Kromm said Poplar Hill, Mishkeegogamang, Neskantaga and Eabametoong could also soon be receiving shipments of emergency food supplies.