Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre Recipient of $500,000 USD Grant from Citi Foundation

50 organizations globally have been granted a total of $25 million to pilot or expand catalytic solutions to improve food security and strengthen the financial health of low-income families and communities globally.

September 25, 2023 – IQALUIT, NU– Citi Foundation announced the 50 grant recipients of its first-ever Global Innovation Challenge today, which includes one Canadian finalist: Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre (QCFC). The QCFC grant application was one of over 1,000 submissions from organizations in more than 80 countries.

“Qajuqturvik serves close to 500 meals every day for lunch, and that number is only increasing with inflation and post-pandemic impacts,” says Rachel Blais, Executive Director of Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre. “This grant will support QCFC as we strive to address increasing food insecurity rates by creating new sources of good, affordable food for Iqalummiut and supporting more hunters across Nunavut.” 

Each grantee will receive $500,000 USD over two years to support programming across four key areas: food access, availability, affordability and community resilience. QCFC will use their grant to open a Country Foods and Bulk Food grocery store. The store will operate on a Feed It Forward – Pay What You Can basis, with reduced pricing for community members who are food insecure and/or cannot afford full retail prices.

“Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre’s plans for the Country Foods and Bulk Food grocery store is rooted in food sovereignty and the preservation and education of Indigenous food gathering practices, which shaped a compelling application,” says Samira Rehman, Vice President of Communications & Community Development, Citibank Canada. “We are honoured to partner with them to help build the capacity for dignified access to safe and nutritious food in Nunavut.”

Shortly before the COVID-19 crisis, 57% of households in Nunavut experienced food insecurity, more than any other jurisdiction in Canada. In 2020, 46.1% of people in Nunavut lived in moderate or severely food-insecure households; almost a quarter (23.3%) of people lived in a severely food-insecure household in 2020.

“Over our long history, Citi and the Citi Foundation have assisted countless organizations to manage and improve the challenges facing communities around the world.  Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre’s trusted insights on the food crisis in Nunavut, connections in the communities they serve and clear detail about infrastructure needed to meet needs, makes them the best-equipped to create meaningful impact with this grant,” says John Hastings, CEO of Citibank Canada. “We look forward to working with them to bring this innovation to completion.”

Over the course of the initiative, grantees will have access to technical assistance and a learning community designed by, a non-profit design studio. Through these wrap-around services, grantees will have the opportunity to collaborate, share lessons learned and exchange best practices.

For a complete list of grant recipients, please visit


About Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre

Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre is a hub of food culture in Iqaluit. Through our charitable work, we aim to build community, food skills, and awareness.

Vision: food sovereignty and security for Nunavummiut.

Mission: We strive to strengthen health, belonging, and food sovereignty in Iqaluit by utilizing the power of food, tradition, and community

Additional information may be found at, Twitter: @Qajuqturvik, Instagram: @qajuqturvik, Facebook: @Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre

About the Global Innovation Challenge

The Global Innovation Challenge is a new model to identify and provide philanthropic support to community organizations that are developing innovative solutions to social and economic challenges facing low-income communities. 

About Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

About Citi

Citi is a preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in its home market of the United States. Citi does business in nearly 160 countries and jurisdictions, providing corporations, governments, investors, institutions and individuals with a broad range of financial products and services.   In Canada, Citi serves its clients through its offices in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

Additional information may be found at, Twitter: @Citi, LinkedIn:, YouTube:, Facebook:

Citi Canada Media Contact: Shawna Van Esch, 416-947-5741,

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