Every home in Gjoa Haven – 285 of them – is getting a Christmas hamper with a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, courtesy of the municipal government.

Gjoa Haven hamlet staffers Peggy Porter, Jessica Hunter, Irene Ekelik and Aida Qitsualik put together Christmas hampers. photo courtesy of Connie Baines/Hamlet of Gjoa Haven

This is the third year that the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven has issued the gifts to residents, although there were a few more items included during previous holiday seasons, acknowledged Connie Baines, the hamlet’s community development coordinator.

“It’s a little leaner than last year, but turkey is still a nice gift… it’s nice to be able to give, for sure,” said Baines. “It’s what’s affordable out of the budget this year. The hamlet is still in deficit recovery mode. We want to spend within our means.”

Many people expressed their gratitude on the Gjoa Haven Facebook page, where some of the comments read: “Thank you! It means a lot for all families,” and “Thank you all for the hampers. Gjoa Haven, the best home town. Keep it going. Right on!”

The money to cover the expenses comes out of the hamlet’s wellness fund.

The hampers were handed out on Wednesday. Residents were asked to stop by the hamlet office to pick up the holiday meal ingredients for themselves and for family members who weren’t able to come in, although municipal staff were prepared to deliver some hampers, if necessary, Baines said.

Happy residents of Gjoa Haven, including elder David Siksik and his daughter Lillian, come into the hamlet office to pick up their Christmas hampers on Wednesday. Each hamper contains a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. photo courtesy of Connie Baines/Hamlet of Gjoa Haven

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