a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.

He hasn’t eaten in a week and he turns to tea to stave off hunger pangs. He gives what little food he has to his five children, who are between the ages of one-and-a-half and 11. ~ Global News

This is Canada – a place where no one should have to go without food.  And yet many families go to bed having eaten far too little (or nothing at all).

Food prices in the North are so much higher than anywhere else in Canada.  Because of transportation costs, food costs can be prohibitive.  Families struggling with low wages or unemployment are unable to buy enough food to feed their children.

FoodCollageBut we can help change that reality for one family.

Through Helping Our Northern Neighbours, Welcome To The Zoo will be matched with a family that needs help with groceries.

Here’s how it works: we purchase pantry food items, consumables and toiletries here in southern Ontario, pack it up and ship it to our matched family.

The cost of food in Southern Ontario is very reasonable, and by shopping sales, I’m able to buy enough groceries to fill a box once a month.  However, shipping costs will run around $100-$150 for each shipment.

This is where I need your help.

I would love to see the Welcome To The Zoo readers rally to help feed the family we’ve been matched with!

Can you spare $5, $10 or even $20 to help feed a hungry family?  Any amount will go completely toward the cost of shipping.

Will you help? 

Click below to donate by Paypal.  If you prefer to use cash, email money transfers can be sent to megan@welcometothezoo.ca.


For more information on Helping Our Northern Neighbours, take a look at these articles:

Huffington Post Canada – Northern Food Crisis

Global News – High Grocery Costs in Canada’s North

Global News – Hunger In The Arctic

The Loop – How Care Packages Are Changing Lives in Canada’s North

Toronto Star – Food Insecurity In The North




  1. Dawn Marie

    What a GREAT thing to be doing!!!!! I am SO happy to see this! I will head to my paypal and donate what I can!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Ursula Stouffer

    I’ve donated, too! Those prices are outrageous, but I guess their food is being flown in, and that costs a fortune. I wonder why they don’t go back to hunting? Those people used to be able to look after themselves without relying on grocery stores!

    • Megan Elford

      That’s actually a great question. The reality is that the cost of flying anything in costs a great deal. So snowmobiles, atvs and boats all cost so much more to maintain and fill with gas. The cost of bullets and other hunting supplies is also prohibitive. And from what I understand, hunting requires at least a couple of days of being out on the land or in the water. If you’re working a full time job, you may not have the time to do that.

      And then of course, there’s the problem of the younger generation not always knowing how to hunt or fish. There’s been a disconnect in many communities because of residential schools, when alot of knowledge was lost.

      There do seem to be a few initiatives for either getting hunters organized enough to be able to sell to non-hunters (farmer’s market style, but with meat instead of fruits and veggies) and also in bringing back those traditional skills that have been lost.

      • Ursula Stouffer

        Yes, I’ve heard that. One of Ken’s cousins was a high school teacher in Nunavut for a few years. He found that the young people didn’t know how to build a hunting kayak, nobody had taught them!
        So, he went and found out how those were traditionally built, learned how to build them, and then went and taught those Inuit how to build their traditional kayaks.
        It took him a lot of talking to convince the only elder who still knew how to actually help them. It is very strange, but somehow somebody doesn’t WANT those young people to learn their traditional crafts, and the elders seem to be afraid to teach them. It is very odd.

  3. Messy Mom

    What an amazing mission. My son’s school just started a program where they discreetly slip nonperishable food into the backpacks of students in need.

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