The Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) will have some healthy food options available to their 12 communities after receiving a donation of 23,400 dozen (281,000) eggs from the Saskatchewan Egg Producers (SEP) on Thursday.
“Our local farmers here in the province love giving back and it’s an important value that we have. We know that having quality nutritious food is important and all people throughout Saskatchewan,” said SEP executive director Cam Broten.
“That is what we do all of the time. We know that there are needs especially during this time of COVID.”
The donation was made at Caribou Transport where the eggs, which were packed by Star Egg, known as the official grader of eggs, were being shipped to communities.
“I want to acknowledge Saskatchewan Egg Producers and everybody that’s involved for providing this donation from raising those chickens, boxing them up and packaging whatever. Everything that’s involved we do acknowledge the work and commitment and the willingness and the kindness shown by the Saskatchewan Egg Producers. We are very thankful for the donation,” PAGC Vice Chief Joseph Tsannie said.
Tsannie explained that food security is an issue for the far north communities because of the cost of transportation and delivery. Food, such as eggs, will help to ease the problem of children going to school hungry.
“If we want a quality education and we want our children to learn quality we need to feed them properly. With the declining of caribou that we have to travel 16 hours up into the Arctic to get our traditional food, food is really scarce right now,” Tsannie said.
It is also beneficial to receive the donation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tsannie said, which prevents travel from the north.
“This is perfect timing and we are again so thankful for the donation especially on behalf of our communities, our 12 First Nations within the tribal council. We welcome any donation to help alleviate some of the stresses within our families and this kind of donation does really help and it will go a long way,” Tsannie said.
Eggs are difficult to get in some northern communities as are fruits, vegetables and milk. Tsannie said communities that will benefit from the donation include James Smith, Wahpeton, Shoal Lake, Red Earth, Sturgeon Lake, La Ronge and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation among others.
“We do have 46,000 First Nations members within our First Nations so every little support and donation does help a lot of the young people in our communities,” Tsannie said.
According to Broten, they have made similar donations to Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and to food banks around the province.
Broten explained that, along with Star Egg, Second Harvest served as a matchmaker for SEP and the PAGC and he encouraged other agricultural groups to consider similar donations.
“Eggs are a versatile protein, they are good in all types of foods, you can hard boil them and send them with a kid on the way to school,” Broten said.
“It was a donation that made sense to us for the PAGC.”