Province Increasing Food Subsidy for Churchill

Increase will Help Keep Food Prices Affordable: Goertzen

The Manitoba government is increasing the Affordable Food in Remote Manitoba (AFFIRM) retail subsidy rate to $1.60 per kilogram for milk, infant formula, and fresh fruit and vegetables in Churchill, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“With the interruption in rail services to Churchill, food costs are increasing as food now has to be flown into the community,” said Goertzen. “This increase in the AFFIRM subsidy will help reduce the cost of food in the community and, in particular, support more affordable access to healthy foods.”

AFFIRM was launched in Churchill in October 2015 with a subsidy rate of $1.20 per/kg. The new subsidy rate of $1.60 per/kg is the highest rate offered to Manitoba communities in both the AFFIRM and Nutrition North Canada (NNC) program. This increase will result in additional savings for Churchill residents, the minister said. For example, consumers will now receive approximately $7 off of a four-litre container of milk.

The minister noted the program reduces the price of milk, infant formula, fresh vegetables and fruit in eligible remote northern communities through a subsidy to participating stores. Each store is required to pass on the full subsidy to the customer by reducing sale prices of eligible foods. The amount of the subsidy is shown both in the store, as well as on the customer receipt.

Eligibility for AFFIRM is determined by the provincial government, targeting northern Manitoba communities that are not directly served by an all-weather road and which do not receive the full subsidy through the federal NNC program.

The NNC provides a subsidy to several other northern Manitoba communities and has worked with Manitoba to ensure a broader range of items, not including AFFIRM items, will be subsidized in Churchill at the $1.60/kg rate during the rail disruption.

“We know that families in Churchill have been facing a difficult challenge and we are pleased to work with the federal government to support the community,” said Goertzen. “This increased subsidy will help address some of the increased costs and provide support to area residents as this situation continues to evolve.”

For more information on AFFIRM, visit

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