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Rankin Inlet flooded with applicants for food security program

More than 900 applicants approved in three weeks
Rankin Inlet senior administrative officer Darren Flynn is extremely proud of how fast his staff processed more than 900 applications to the Inuit Child First/Jordan's Principle Food Security program in June.

The Hamlet of Rankin Inlet has received more than 900 applications to date for its Inuit Child First/Jordan's Principle Food Security program as the start-up date for the program draws ever closer.

The municipality collected applications at the community hall for three days this past week, with seven hamlet representatives processing registrations on June 25, 26 and 27.

As the hamlet continues to accept applications, parents are reminded that in order to qualify, Inuit children must be under 18 years of age, be a permanent resident of Rankin Inlet, and be able to produce the child's Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. card and either a Nunavut health card or birth certificate.

Only parent(s) can register their child and registration must be made in-person. No online or emailed applications are being accepted at this time.

Jordan’s Principle allows for $500 per month support each for youth 18 and younger, with an extra $250 for youth aged one day to three years from the Inuit Child First Initiative/Jordan’s Principle programs through partnership with the Indigenous Kids Network of Canada. It will allow parents to purchase groceries.

Rankin senior administrative officer Darren Flynn said he knew the hamlet could expect somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1,000 applications when the process began.

He said the municipality is still registering a couple of people a day as families return to town.

I'm looking forward to getting the program rolled out,” said Flynn.

The finish line has always been towards the end of June to the first part of July and, right now, that entry is getting pretty close to being finished. Once that's done, we'll load them with the stores and then, after that, people will be able to start.

I'm expecting it to launch before the end of this week. But as much as we can move it up, we will.”

Flynn said every store in town is eligible to be used by the successful applicants.

He said he thinks people are going to benefit well from the program.

I was talking to a single Mom last night at one of the stores and she feels a great sense of relief coming from it, so, I mean, that's exactly why we're doing it is to help people.

This program will give people some breathing room, yes. I don't think the intention was that it would totally replace what people were spending on groceries, but it will certainly supplement it very nicely and allow them to have good quality food.”

Flynn said the three schools in Rankin Inlet will still be delivering their breakfast programs for the next few years.

He said the hamlet continues to be a partner in that with funding through its community wellness program.

We have a five-year funding agreement for community wellness with the government. A cornerstone of that is well over $100,000 targeted at the school breakfast programs being continued.

We're into our second five-year agreement with the Department of Health. This past year was our first year in our new five-year agreement.

Right now, I think there's some expectation that this program should have been rolled out sooner, but I think the staff have done an incredible job at getting this to where it needs to be.

I know very few organizations, anywhere, that will take 900 applications on anything and process them in three weeks — and this is not your typical program/funding agreement. It has tremendous reporting requirements.”

About the Author: Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative

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