Thank you to the Mackenzie Community School Interact Club for your generous support of the Rotary Club of Iqaluit Community Christmas Hampers Program!
Mackenzie Interact Club Tackles Poverty and Food Insecurity
North Renfrew Times – November 9, 2016
jon kiteley
The Interact Club of the Mackenzie Community School has designated the months of November and December 2016 to the theme of “Poverty and Food Insecurity”.
Interact has identified three projects for this theme.  First, Interact will, once again, be supporting the Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) for their annual “Operation Snowsuit”.  Second, we will support the North Renfrew Family Services (NRFS) by providing Christmas food baskets and gifts for children in need.   And last, we will be providing Christmas Food Baskets to the vulnerable Inuit families of Iqaluit, Nunavut.  
The Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network is a grassroots organization that has been involved in a number of activities related to the elimination of child poverty and minimizing the effect that poverty has on local children.  These activities fall under three categories; practical assistance, advocacy and education.  
Last year CPAN was able to help 411 local children in need stay warm and dry during our severe winter conditions.  
The MCS Interact Club will be collecting donations of new or gently used snowsuits, snowpants, winter jackets, snow boots, hats and waterproof gloves.  Items must be clean and in good repair as CPAN does not have the ability to clean or repair.  These items will be provided to children from newborn to 17 years of age.
Donations for the CPAN “Operation Snowsuit” may be dropped off at Mackenzie Community School or the foyer of the Town Hall.   Due to a large demand for children’s winter clothing, CPAN must purchase some items – so they are also in need of monetary donations.   For more information regarding CPAN Please contact:
The North Renfrew Family Services (NRFS) is a community based and supported non-profit agency that has provided support to families in North Renfrew since 1968.  
The MCS Interact Club will support the 24th annual NRFS ”Community Christmas Basket Program” through food gift cards and children’s presents via the local “Angel Trees”.   We encourage other members of the community to join us in this effort.
The MCS Interact club will also support, consistent with our ongoing support for First Nations, the Inuit families of Iqaluit, Nunavut.
In Canada, 68% of the Inuit population are classed as food insecure - the highest rate for any developed country.  Hunger is normal amongst Canada’s Inuit people - particularly for children.
 Food insecurity among the Inuit is exacerbated by socioeconomic stresses and climate change and contributes to the highest suicide rates in the world.
The traditional Inuit diet of caribou, seal, fish, walrus, whale and birds is especially vulnerable to climate change which has had a major impact of the nutrient intake of the people.
The cost of food in Canada’s Arctic is more than double the Canadian average.  The average cost of groceries for a family of four in Nunavut is over $20,000, but the median income is less than $20,000 annually.
The Rotary Club of Iqaluit, which is part of our Rotary District 7040, undertakes an annual Christmas Food Basket program for Inuit families.  The MCS Interact Club, with support from the Rotary Club of North Renfrew (Deep River), will provide financial support, through the Rotary Club of Iqaluit, for Christmas Food Baskets for Inuit families.
Through a related project, from the October 2016 Education theme, the MCS Interact Club will provide a post-secondary scholarship for an Inuit student.
The MCS Interact Club welcomes support from the community for our Inuit families.  We can provide information for online donations through the Rotary Club of Iqaluit Charitable Society.   
Make Poverty History – Nelson Mandela, Trafalgar Square, 2005
“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity.  It is the protection of a fundamental human right to dignity and a decent life.”
“Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times - times in which the world boasts of breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation - they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.”
“Poverty is not natural.  It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great.  You can be that great generation.”
MCS Interact November – December 2016 Theme:  Poverty and Food Insecurity
1.         CPAN – Operation Snowsuit + $500 cash donation
2.         NRFS – Christmas Food Hampers + Children’s Gifts - $500 cash donation
3.         INUIT of IQALUIT (NUNAVUT) - $1100 for family food baskets (~11 families)
            Promoted District 7040 support for Iqaluit Rotary Club Inuit Food Hampers
MCS Interact September 2016:  Theme - Women’s Issues:
-  Donated $500 the Bernadette McCann House
MCS Interact October 2016: Theme – Education:
- Collected and sent ~2000 children’s books through “Books With No Bounds” to the 49 remote northerly First Nations of Nishnabwe Aski Nation (NAN) which covers the 60% of Ontario
- provided a $500 post-secondary scholarship for an Inuit student (likely for Nunavut Arctic College)