Families in Nunavut will have more to eat this month thanks to the donation efforts of a Yellowknife family.
Sudhir Jha and his daughter Isha organized a food packages campaign for 25 families in Cambridge Bay.
“Covid-19 has presented many challenges to people’s lives,” Jha said. “Those challenges focus both on the practical and spiritual, or emotional elements of the individuals involved. My daughter and I wanted to do something very practical to reach out to as many people in serious need as we could. We chose initially to focus on the smaller communities because their supply chains have been very compromised because of Covid.”
The packages were sent out in early December. Jha paid for the items and shipping costs himself. He arranged for Nunavut Arctic College students, community volunteers and Elders to distribute the parcels to families in need.
“Part of the plan included our Elders since they know more than anyone else about the individuals in their own communities,” he said.
“I have heard from the volunteers delivering the items that the families thought the packages contained very welcome items,” Jha said. “Knowing someone cared enough about them to take the time and expense to put the packages together gave the families a feeling of hope, that they weren’t alone.”
In addition to food items like pasta, sauces, vegetables and fruit, the parcels also contained hand soap, sanitizer and cloth masks.
The Yellowknife resident thought of more than just immediate needs as well – he also shipped five refurbished desktop computers to Cambridge Bay for students to use.
The donations to Nunavut families come after a food and personal protective equipment drive that Jha organized in the spring and summer for 75 families in Whati, Gameti, Wekweeti, Bechoko, Dettah and Yellowknife. He shipped the packages to those remote communities on Air Tindi flights.
Those parcels included hundreds of face masks, liquid soap and hand sanitizer items.
For the Jha familiy’s efforts, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) featured them on its Random Acts of Canadian website that recognizes actions to fight Covid and keep communities strong amid the pandemic.
RBC made a contribution of $500 to Sudhir to help him purchase supplies for the donations, and another $500 for a charitable e-gift card, which he donated to the YK Seniors Society.
“My family considers (the packages) an act of kindness,” he said. “Our goal is to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic to get through together and to know they can count on the broader community to help as we are able.”