Noojmowing Teg steps up to deliver Northern Fruit and Vegetable program

Hailey (Buckets) and Lily Simon pick out some strawberries and carrots under the watchful eye of Sue-Ann Oshkabewisens, Melanie Cortes and Micheline Fortin during the Noojmowin Teg Northern Fruits and Vegetables Program healthy food giveaway. photo by Michael Erskine

LITTLE CURRENT – The Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program is usually delivered through the school system, but with schools shut down for the year other avenues were needed to distribute the healthy food offerings made available through a partnership between the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association—enter Noojmowin Teg Health Centre.

“Noojmowin Teg was asked to take over the delivery of the program,” said program lead Cody Leeson. “This was the second week we have been offering healthy food items, one package of fruit and one of vegetables in the parking lot of Little Current Public School. Last week was strawberries and organic carrots, this week it is apples and grape tomatoes.”

Mr. Leeson explained that Noojmowin Teg adapted the successful model of their Good Food Box program to come up with a delivery mechanism that works for the Island’s communities. “Since we took over in March we have delivered 89,000 pounds of healthy food to 16 communities involved,” he said. “There are actually more communities than that, but some are working under other communities. That’s over 1,000 households per week.”

The program was slated to run until the end of the school year.

The food packages are available in the Little Current Public School parking lot on Fridays, from 10 am to 12 noon.