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Ikurraq Food Bank Society keeping Rankinmiut warm

Ikurraq Food Bank Society gives away hundreds of clothing item during cold spell
Sally Cormier-Ittinuar, volunteer with the Ikurraq Food Bank Society, said every single parka was gone by the end of the day. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

During a winter of extreme cold, the Ikurraq Food Bank Society gave out a community hall full of parkas, mitts, boots and other cold-weather gear, all for free.

“We want everybody to have a warm parka or warm boots for the rest of winter,” said Sally Cormier-Ittinuar, coordinator with the food bank.

A lot of people donated clothing over the Christmas holidays, she said, and more dropped off items specifically for the giveaway Monday, Feb. 7.

Upwards of 300 hats and gloves, 100 scarves, 100 adult parkas, 60 children’s parkas, 50 pairs of boots and more were available for residents to take as they pleased, no matter if they were picking up something for themselves or a family or friend.

As soon as doors opened at 3 p.m., the community hall was filled to legal capacity, and people continually flooded in during the opening.

All the parkas were gone by the end of the day, only leaving some hats and scarves left, as there were so many.

“There was quite a big crowd,” said Cormier-Ittinuar, adding that she heard many appreciative comments.

“A lot of, ‘Thank you so much.’ ‘I have a parka, now I can go out and play with my children.’ ‘My son will be warm now.’”

That’s why Cormier-Ittinuar and volunteers do it, she said: “A ‘thank you’ means everything to us.”

She hopes to make the giveaway an annual event.

Tables line the community hall with hundreds of hats, gloves, scarves, boots, parkas and more cold-weather gear. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo ᐋᓪᓕᕋᐅᔭᐃᑦ ᐋᖅᑭᒃᓱᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐱᙳᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥ 100-ᖏᓐᓃᑦᑐᑦ ᓇᓴᐃᑦ, ᐊᒡᒑᑦ, ᖁᖓᓯᕈᑏᑦ, ᑲᒫᓗᐃᑦ, ᔭᐸᐃᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᒥᓱᒃᑲᓐᓃᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᓐᓄᕌᕆᔭᐅᕙᒃᑐᑦ.