Eligible food and non-food items

COVID-19: Program enhancements

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, and to support food security in isolated communities, enhancements have been made to the Nutrition North Canada subsidy program to give Northerners in these communities better access and more savings on nutritious foods and essential items.

We have increased subsidy rates and expanded the list of food and essential items subsidized when shipped by air to all 116 Nutrition North Canada eligible communities.

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What Nutrition North Canada subsidizes

Nutrition North Canada provides a subsidy on a list of nutritious eligible foods, as well as certain non-food items like diapers and non-prescription drugs, sold by registered retailers and suppliers. This list relies on direct input from Indigenous and community partners. It is dynamic, and periodically adjusted to best meet the needs of community members within the program budget.

Items shipped by air

Vegetables and fruit
High subsidy Medium subsidy Low subsidy
Frozen vegetables and fruit
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Dried vegetables (unseasoned and unsweetened)
  • Dried fruit (unseasoned and unsweetened)
  • Frozen unsweetened juice concentrate
  • Unsweetened juice in individual containers of 250 ml or less, except cans
  • Frozen French fries, hash browns, and other potato products
  • Unsweetened juice in containers larger than 250 ml
  • Unsweetened juice in cans
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Tomato-based sauces
Grain products
Medium subsidy Low subsidy
  • Bread
  • Bread products without sweetened filling or coating (for example buns, rolls, bagels, pita, soft tortillas)
  • Flour all-purpose (white and whole wheat)
  • Ready-to-eat cereal
  • Cook-type cereal
  • Dried macaroni, spaghetti and lasagna noodles (white and whole wheat)
  • Rice (white, whole wheat, minute)
  • Crackers, crisp bread and Pilot biscuits
  • Arrowroot and social tea cookies
  • Unseasoned plain dry pasta
  • Unseasoned plain popping corn (un-popped kernels)
  • Bannock and pancake mixes
  • Fresh and frozen pasta
  • Rye flour and other semi-perishable flours
Milk and alternatives
High subsidy Medium subsidy Low subsidy
Milk (fresh)
  • Milk (powdered, canned, evaporated, sterilized at ultra-high temperature (UHT))
  • Chocolate milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Fortified soy beverages
  • Cheese and processed cheese slices
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt and yogurt drinks
  • Cream
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Processed cheese spread
  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and ice milk
Meat and alternatives
Medium subsidy Low subsidy
  • Fresh and frozen meat, poultry, fish and seafood
  • Deli meat
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Unsweetened nuts and seeds
  • Dried beans (kidney, black, pinto)
  • Dried barley, lentils, split peas
  • Peanut butter and other nut or seed-based spreads
  • "Vegetarian" products, for example tofu and vegetable-based patties
  • Bacon
  • Canned fish and seafood
  • Canned legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils
Other foods
High subsidy Medium subsidy Low subsidy
  • Infant formula
  • Infant cereals
  • Other infant foods
  • Butter and lard
  • Cooking oils (canola, olive, vegetable)
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Margarine (soft and non-hydrogenated)
  • Salad dressing, mayonnaise and perishable dips
  • Shortening
  • All cooking oils not included at the Higher subsidy level (for example sunflower, peanut, flaxseed)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Spices, flavouring and extracts
  • Pizza mixes
  • Fresh, frozen and refrigerated combination foods, except items that are breaded, battered or in pastry, desserts, poutine, prepared sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, prepared salads
  • Salad kits with salad dressing and/or croutons
  • Fresh and frozen pizzas
Non-food items
Medium subsidy Low subsidy
  • Diapers
  • Menstrual products
  • Non-prescription drugs approved by Health Canada
  • Wipes and nursing pads
  • Disposable absorbent underwear, toilet paper and facial tissues
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, denture adhesive and denture cleaner
  • Soap, deodorant, shampoo and hand and body lotions
  • Laundry and dishwashing detergents

Items shipped by seasonal ground transportation that are eligible for a subsidy

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