Saskatoon Tribal Council to deliver meals to 435 houses daily
- EFN Staff | April 24, 2020
The Saskatoon Tribal Council has partnered with many organizations to ensure that the community has access to basic necessities like food during this unprecedented period of pandemic isolation.
According to Tribal Chief Mark Arcand, approximately 435 households in Saskatoon qualify for the program.
“The White Buffalo Youth Lodge is a colour-blind facility so this isn’t just about feeding Indigenous families. Over 1400 people will receive two meals a day from our program,” said Chief Arcand during a Zoom press conference. “It will be through a door to door service where we can still honour the isolation factors and social distancing.”
A project this big has lots of factors and need for resources. Numerous partners have donated money, the Saskatoon Co-Op is donating food and the Public School system has donated the use of their commercial kitchens at Mount Royal for the food preparation. “Our division wants to help the community and serve our diverse students during this time,” said Brent Hills a Superintendent of Education for the system. “The kitchens are big and will allow for three different shifts of ten cooks to make this food daily. The kitchens are big enough we can honour physical distancing.”
The demand from the community has been draining, but the support from the community for this program has been overwhelming. “I think the work of the last few years developing partnerships with businesses and organizations in the area has really paid off,” said Chief Arcand. “Once they heard what we were doing they really came forward. It will cost about $100,000 to run the program through to the end of June. It has been quite humbling and rewarding.”
Arcand also pointed out this program will be taking pressure off the food bank and Friendship Inn and also contribute to less need for people to leave their house and face exposure to the virus. They will run their first pilot on Thursday and then begin the twice-daily deliveries Monday, April 27.
The partners in the project include the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Saskatoon Public Schools, Nutrien, Saskatoon Community Action Alliance, Saskatoon Paramedic Association, Federated Co-op, Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation and the Province of Saskatchewan.