On April 1, 2011, the Nutrition North Canada program is due to fully replace the Food Mail Program, which provides nutritious perishable foods to remote parts of northern Canada at reduced postal rates. The new program is intended to help shorten the supply chain and provide eligible communities with higher subsidies for the most nutritious perishable foods.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said: "Eating healthy foods is an essential part of overall good health. The Nutrition North Canada program will bring healthy fresh and frozen foods to isolated northern communities. We want to ensure that we are helping communities increase their knowledge of healthy eating and allow them to develop skills for selecting and preparing healthy store-bought and traditional or country foods. Health Canada funding will do just that."
The new program will place a greater emphasis on healthy foods, and some products that are higher in sodium, fat or sugar and lower in nutrients have been removed from the list of eligible items. In addition, some items were removed from the program for communities that have a marine service.
The full list of changes to the products that are eligible for subsidized airlift under the program is available here.
The changes are intended to bring foods eligible for transportation subsidies in line with Health Canada nutrition guidelines.
The newly announced Health Canada funding is intended to support communities with planning and transition to the new Nutrition North Canada program, including providing workshops for community workers to introduce the new program; providing workshops on cooking skills; and providing resource materials and supplies to help community workers lead activities such as in-store taste tests and cooking classes.