Yellowknife Co-op donating $50K to address food security

The Yellowknife Co-op has created a $50,000 fund to address food security concerns in Yellowknife. Organizations receiving the cash will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Co-op’s board of directors, which announced the fund on Sunday, said the grocery store decided to donate after seeing some community members face greater challenges accessing food during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organizations like YK Food Rescue and the YK Food Bank, for example, had to temporarily suspend operations due to public health restrictions. Both have resumed operations in some capacity. 


“We like to support communities. I mean, we’re part of the community,” said Co-op general manager Justin Nelson.

“Sales have been good at the store. We want to give back to the community at large and what better way to do that than help some organizations with food security?”

Nelson said the Co-op annually gives thousands of dollars to the community, but the board of directors felt it was especially important during the pandemic. 

On Monday, he said, the Co-op would donate $10,000 from the fund to the YK Food Bank, which resumed handing out food hampers on April 19.

“A lot of people before this pandemic had issues with getting food on a regular basis so obviously the more they have, the more they can give out to people,” Nelson said. “It’s pretty bad when you have a food bank that doesn’t have anything to give out to people.” 


Jeff Kincaid, business development manager at the Co-op, said the store has longstanding relationships with organizations that help feed people in the city like the food bank, YK Food Rescue, and the NWT Seniors’ Society. 

“We wanted to get them injected with a bunch of funds to kind-of get their feet under them again,” he said. “They get food and resources to a lot of people that need it and we just want to make sure that they have all the tools they need to help those people.” 

Kincaid said organizations were surprised but happy to learn about the fund. He hopes it will inspire others to help out. 

“We’re all in this together,” he said. “The Co-op can only do so much but we need everybody who can help find a way to make it work.”