About the Program

Nutrition North Canada is a food subsidy program for isolated northern communities. The program subsidizes:

  • A variety of perishable foods (the most nutritious ones such as fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, meat and cheese get a higher subsidy)
  • Country or traditional foods commercially-processed in the North
  • Direct (or "personal") orders

Nutrition North Canada provides the subsidy directly to retailers, suppliers, and country food processors that apply, meet the program's requirements and register with NNC by signing funding agreements with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Community residents benefit from the subsidy because:

  • Registered northern retailers must pass on the subsidy to their customers when they buy eligible items in the store
  • Registered southern suppliers must pass on the subsidy to individuals, commercial establishments (e.g. hotels and restaurants) and social institutions (e.g. schools and daycares) when they place direct or "personal" orders

Country foods (e.g. Arctic char, musk-ox, and caribou) are important sources of nutrients and play a key role in Northerners' diets. Under Nutrition North Canada, the Government of Canada subsidizes country foods that are processed in eligible northern processing plants as well as country foods shipped from the South.

Health Canada partners with eligible First Nations and Inuit communities to fund culturally-appropriate nutrition education and health promotion initiatives. These initiatives provide vital information on the marketing, use and preparation of nutritious foods. Visit Health Canada's Nutrition Education Program web page for more information.

The Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board gives Northerners a direct voice in the program. Board members provide advice to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development regarding the management and effectiveness of the program.