Welcome to Ipirauttaaq Society

About Us.

Food Security

Food insecurity affects many people around the world. It is an extreme public health concern in Nunavut whereby over 66% of the population report issues with providing the basic food needs of their family’s. 

What is the issue?

Poverty, and a lack of basic infrastructure to access logistics and affordable transportation has resulted in most of the Northern region of Canada to experience disproportionate levels of food insecurity over the rest of Canada. Costs of goods is a key component in food insecurity, less access to healthy food options. Nunavut, a territory defined by its hostile tundra environment, availability and accessibility are major issues. Today, the availability of food in the territory is dictated by cargo shipments made by ships in the summer and planes in the winter.

Because of the costliness of shipping and flying in all food items, grocery costs are unbelievably high in the territory. According to the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, residents of the territory are required to pay upwards of three times the amount for essential grocery items than the rest of Canada. The Bureau’s research reveals some shocking examples, like the fact that while most Canadians pay around $2.61 for a bag of frozen french fries, those living in Nunavut pay about $6.15. Another example is celery, a staple vegetable for many Canadians, where the national average price is $3.38 per kilogram, while citizens of Nunavut are charged a whopping $12.44.

What is Inuit food security?

The Government of Canada states “Food insecurity is the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so. Household food insecurity is often linked with the household’s financial ability to access adequate food”.

Nearly 70% of Nunavut lives in food insecurity which is the highest documented rate among aboriginal populations that reside in a developed country. Access to adequate food is a major challenge for communities across the Inuit Nunangat. In Nunavut, food insecurity has been identified to be at crisis level and is only getting worst.

What makes our approach different?

  • As a not-for-profit, we believe that to combat food insecurity, we must tackle the root causes. Simply providing food to those that need it most is not working; we believe that educating clients of food banks on nutrition, working with stakeholders to develop nutritional workshops and life skills, and creating employment opportunities will go a long way.
  • Currently, most food banks set up in Nunavut often purchase their food locally in the community as needed, usually weekly. Buying like this is unrealistic as they are paying for those stores’ inflated prices. Buying food at a wholesale level will allow our funds to go that much further and provide more food to clients.
  • Create soup kitchen programs and employ local Inuit in these communities to operate and sell goods/catering services through the facility to offer a way to draw funds back into the program.
  • Phase 1 is the NunaFresh program to establish a food box system. This program will allow us to utilize typical foods that a foodbank would generally have and country food that is essential to the Nunavummiut culture and full of nutrients they are familiar with and enjoy consuming.
  • In phase 2, we plan to establish an Out-of-territory cooked meal program. This program will offer pre-cooked frozen meals utilizing country foods and typical frozen-type meals. These frozen meals will be proportionately packaged and created based on local recipes.   
  • Support programs and initiatives to assist in local hunting, harvesting, and access to conventional foods.
  • Partner with organizations that provide innovative options for local production of healthy foods. 
  • Setup a community freezer program for local hunters and trappers in every community

Why is this program needed?

  • Canadian Inuit experience the highest rates of food insecurity of any Indigenous population in an industrialized nation.
  • Inuit food insecurity is one of the longest-lasting public health crises faced by a Canadian population.
  • Food insecurity can cause significant negative health impacts.
  • There is currently no federal policy in place to end Inuit food insecurity.
  • Low-income Inuit spend the majority of their income on basic food and shelter.
  • Inuit communities have very high cost-of-living and poverty rates.
  • High Inuit food insecurity rates will only be improved by partnering with Inuit to advance Inuit-driven solutions.
  • Dietary training, program creation, and utilizing available foods with group cooking classes are widely needed. 
  • Financial literacy and capacity-building training programs are required, with the outcome of establishing a foodbank or alternative food initiative in every community that Nunavummiut operate. 

What are the solutions?

Strengthen the Inuit Nunangat food system by working in partnership with Inuit to:


Educating young children on the importance of eating healthy. Making better food choices can prolong ones life. Promoting health and wellness education, and increasing work opportunities in the community is part of our misson.

Transportation & Logistics

Food in Nunavut is on average 5 times higher than the National average across Canada. The cost of shipping products to northern communities. In Nunavut, it is six to ten times more expensive to ship products by air than using trucks.

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Alternative Food Options

Country food is a term that describes traditional Inuit food, including game meats, migratory birds, fish and foraged foods. In addition to providing nourishment, country food is an integral part of Inuit identity and culture, and contributes to self-sustainable communities.

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Community Kitchens

Building a healthy community through the power of food. Rather than just providing families with a foodbank voucher or foodbank box of goods we strive to provide more by offering a hot meal 2 x a day rather than simply a box of food.

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Literacy Building

When you have limited to no money typical financial literacy is not the best thing to discuss. Financial empowerment is not only about building personal finance skills and knowledge, but also about changing financial behaviour by understanding one’s values, attitudes and goals.

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Increased food security in northern communities can be obtained by supporting community-based food security initiatives; recognize food as a significant determinant of health; and acknowledge the impacts of climate change on hunting, harvesting and access to traditional foods.