Food can be purchased in town from the Northern Store or the Inuit Co-op. The selection of fresh produce and specialty items in the local stores is limited.
The cost of food in Nunavut is extremely high. All fresh fruit, produce, dairy and meat products are air freighted to Pangnirtung from Ottawa or Montreal
Here is a sample of the Northern Store food prices from 2010 (excluding GST):
|2L of milk||$6.70|
|1 dozen eggs||$3.89|
|1 lb butter||$4.79|
|1 can of Coke||$4.07|
|1 can of frozen OJ||$3.25|
|10 kg of flour||$47.99|
To obtain fresh produce, people will often order food mail. The Federal Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) provides funding to Canada Post to cover part of the cost of shipping nutritious perishable food and other essential items by air to isolated communities in the three territories and the northern parts of six provinces.
For non-perishable and frozen foods, people often place sealift orders that are delivered by large barges during the summer.
Country foods such as caribou, arctic char and seal continue to be the mainstay of many residents’ diet.
Sealift is a vital link for Pangnirtung to obtain its annual re-supply of goods and materials needed throughout the year. It remains the most economical way to transport bulk goods to the arctic.
Every summer, ocean going ships sail from Montreal with a variety of goods including construction materials, vehicles, heavy equipment, house wares and non-perishable food and paper items.
Typically, sealift takes place between mid July and late October each year.