Food Security

Food insecurity in Nunavik
Consequences of food insecurity on health
Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services support for local and regional initiatives in food security
Strengthening partnerships


Food security exists when all human beings at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, healthy and nutritional food enabling them to lead healthy, active lives.

Food insecurity exists when an individual or family does not have access to sufficient food.

In the context of Nunavik, it is important to consider access to both traditional foods and healthy, store-bought foods in improving food security.

To learn more about food security:

Food Insecurity in Nunavik

Many Nunavik families have difficulty with access to sufficient food. In the last regional health survey, conducted in 2004, close to one in four persons reported having lacked food during the month preceding the survey. There are several reasons, including:

  • the high cost of food in the grocery stores;
  • the high cost of hunting supplies and gasoline for hunting activities;
  • poverty;
  • declining populations of certain animal species;
  • climate change;
  • lack of opportunities to pass on knowledge on hunting, fishing and gathering;
  • lack of knowledge on preparing store-bought foods.

Groceries cost 81% more in Nunavik compared to Québec City (Duhaime & Caron (2012). Nunavik Comparative Price Index 2011)

Consequences of Food Insecurity on Health

Food insecurity can affect the physical and mental health of individuals, families and communities. It is linked to:

  • greater risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes;
  • diminished learning capacity;
  • greater risk of mental illness, such as depression.

Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) Support for Local and Regional Initiatives in Food Security

In close partnership with local and regional organizations, the NRBHSS supports various community and regional initiatives, including:

  • community kitchens;
  • activities involving shared knowledge on traditional foods;
  • breakfast and healthy snacks for schoolchildren;
  • food support for pregnant women;
  • in-store nutrition program.

To learn more about support and funding that the NRBHSS can offer for initiatives relative to food security, consult our application form.

Food-security initiatives are funded in part by the Nutrition North Canada program, the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative, the Healthy School approach and the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program.

To learn more about promising initiatives in food security:

Strengthening Partnerships

There is no single solution to the issue of food security. Through their actions, several partners outside the health sector can also contribute to food security. It is necessary to come up with a shared vision and a shared plan for the coming years with all actors concerned with the problem.

For that reason, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) has assumed leadership in launching the process of designing a regional policy for food security. That policy will be a plan shared by the regional organizations and the communities to improve access to and availability of healthy, store-bought foods as well as access to traditional foods.

Example of strengthened partnerships in other regions: