Eligible food and non-food items

COVID-19: Extended subsidy

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, to address growing concerns about food security we are extending the list of perishable and non-perishable items subsidized when shipped by air to all 116 Nutrition North Canada eligible communities from now until March 31, 2021.

On this page

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.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada periodically reviews what is subsidized.

Items shipped by air

Vegetables and fruit
Targeted (highest) subsidy Higher subsidy Lower 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
Higher subsidy Lower 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
Targeted (highest) subsidy Higher subsidy Lower 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
Higher subsidy Lower 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
Targeted (highest) subsidy Higher subsidy Lower 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
Higher subsidy Lower subsidy
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene 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

Items that are excluded from the ground transportation subsidy

Country or traditional foods

Subsidy rates for country or traditional foods are different than subsidy rates for food supplied from the South. These foods such as Arctic char, caribou, goose and muktuk may be subsidized when available through local stores or when purchased from processing plants that are recognized by the program.

Healthy eating

As part of Nutrition North Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada fund and support culturally appropriate retail and community-based nutrition education activities in all eligible isolated northern communities. These activities focus on increasing knowledge of healthy eating, developing skills in selecting and preparing healthy store-bought and traditional or country food, and building on existing community-based activities with an increased focus on working with stores. Communities decide which nutrition education activities to offer based on their needs and priorities. They include: nutrition workshops, healthy cooking classes for all ages, in-store sampling of healthy food, knowledge and skill building related to traditional or country food harvesting and preparation, training of community workers, and the development of local nutritious education materials.

Learn more about healthy food, how to read food labels and keep food safe:

Learn about other Government of Canada programs that promote nutrition and food skills; and improve access to healthy food, both store-bought and traditional or country food:

Related links

Date modified: