Community programs focused on reducing poverty in the NWT will be getting a little extra help this year.
The Anti-Poverty Fund has awarded 52 grants to community, Indigenous and non-profit organizations to provide programs and services on poverty reduction.
The Inuvik Youth Centre is among the recipients, receiving $35,000 to boost programs that promote drop-in services – such as life skills and cooking.
Tony Devlin is the executive director for the youth centre.
“(The fund) goes a long way in creating an environment to give our youth options,” he says, “We’re better positioned to be able to offer seamless programming throughout the community.”
This year’s fund got an extra $750,000 to support things like food security, those experiencing homelessness, early childhood development, traditional knowledge and on-the-land activities.
Activities and programs supported by the fund are completely dependent on the unique needs of the community.
“We find organically that (these) programs can attract these kids in,” says Devlin.
But paying for food costs and overhead of the building is where a large sum of the fund will be invested.
Devlin estimates 10,000 meals and 15,000 snacks are given to youth each year.
When it comes to the budget, “food cost is a big piece of the puzzle,” says Delvin.
“What we’re trying to do is teach kids how to prepare a fully nutritious meal . . . using (traditional) country foods.”
Julie Green is the minister of Health and Social Services.
“The additional funding has allowed us to help more applicants help their communities than in previous years,” she says.
Among the recipients is the Tłı̨chǫ government, Hay River Soup Kitchen and Inuvik Community Greenhouse.