While unloading box after box from a truckload of chickens, Inuvik Food Bank president Angela McInnes recalled some advice her husband once distributed to their son.
“Marry a woman who measures before she buys. Will this fit in the house?” she said. “They took out the cupboards and shelves to make room. In the end there was still no room for the last two pallets.
“It filled the sea can to the ceiling.”
Inuvik’s Food Bank had a very good problem last week. McInnes said Food Banks Canada offered to send up a shipment of poultry, but she didn’t anticipate just how much.
When the truck drove away, McInnes began counting the mountain of meat. Occupying every inch of free space were 16 pallets of chicken, each pallet had 34 cases and each case had eight chickens — leaving McInnes with 4, 352 chickens to get to hungry families.
Stuck with the truckload of chickens, the Food Bank set to work on getting them distributed. Volunteers Gail-Ann Raddi and AJ Minakis helped out by making deliveries and the bank set 5:30 p.m., March 29 for people to come pick up a box.
Word spread fast, thanks to social media, and people flocked to the food bank. When the dust settled, McInnes estimated that 560 households in town were able to get a box of chicken.
More Food on the Way
Now with her free space back, McInnes said there was more food on the way. Orders of canned pasta shapes, beans, pasta noodles and other dry goods are expect in weeks and she added she was hoping to bring more chicken up too.
Keeping Inuvik fed is an ongoing struggle and as a non-profit the Food Bank relies almost entirely on donations. Most recently, Northwest Territories Association of Communities awarded the food bank with a $5,000 cheque to keep its operation going.
McInnes expressed her thanks to Raddi and Minakis for their help distributing the truckload of chickens and added the Food Bank was always looking for more help from volunteers.
“When I was a kid, everyone was your Nanuk and they fed you when you came over,” said McInnes. “That kind of feeling is wonderful.
“Let’s build that kind of community again.”