100 People Who Care Inuvik started its second year the same as its first with a donation to the Inuvik Food Bank.
The group met for its first quarterly meeting of its second year, after giving out more than $25,000 to charities and organizations in town since forming last fall.
The group consists of community members who pledge to donate $100 four times per year. At quarterly meetings, three nominated nonprofit or charity organizations get the chance to make short pitches to the group about how they could use a donation. Members then vote and all of the money goes to the winning organization.
A charity can’t receive the donation twice in the same year, so the Inuvik Food Bank pitched again one year after receiving $7,000 and persuaded the membership to make another donation to start this year. The group gave the Inuvik Food Bank $3,900 at the meeting, representing the members who had paid, but more is expected to come in as absent members’ payments are collected.
The Children First Centre and Inuvik District Education Authority also pitched at the meeting Monday, Dec. 11.
For Margaret Miller, treasurer of the Inuvik Food Bank, the donation means a fully stocked “freebie” shelf for users of the food bank. Earlier this year, the food bank had to institute a user fee of $10 for $40 worth of goods to keep the organization afloat, but there is also a shelf of free goods.
“It has caught on,” said Miller. “We have more and more people coming all the time and paying the user fee. We even have some clients who have larger families paying for multiple flats, not just the one flat. They pay $20 or even $30 to get three flats, so they’re getting lots of extra food.”
Flats contain hamburger, eggs, skim milk powder, macaroni and oats.
Recent donations from the Turkey Farmers of Canada and Food Banks Canada have provided bags of apples, carrots and oranges as well.
“They’ve been going out with great big boxes of food in the last two months because we received these extra funds,” said Miller. “The funds that we receive tonight will go to enhance the freebie shelf.”
That will include eggs, cereal, milk, peanut butter, and other healthy foods.
The food bank sees about 40 people on a busy week and 20-25 on slow weeks.
The Arctic Food Bank, which is funded by the Muslim Welfare Centre out of Toronto, offers food for free, and many people use both services, said Miller.
“We have to buy our food,” said Miller. “We buy from the Northern and we buy from Stantons, whichever has the best price. Whereas the other food bank, theirs is shipped up and paid for by their head mosque in Toronto. I spend between $80,000 and $100,000 a year locally to buy food for our clients.”
She thanked everybody who supports the food bank.