Old Crow residents left without a grocery store

The construction of a new co-operative retail store in Old Crow is months behind schedule, leaving residents with few options when it comes to food and supplies.

The construction of a new co-operative retail store in Old Crow is months behind schedule, leaving residents with few options when it comes to food and supplies.

When plans for the store were originally announced in November 2013, the goal was to have it open by July this year.

But one of the eight founding directors now says the opening won’t be for another couple of months.

“The building is under construction and will be completed in the New Year, possibly by March,” said Tracy Rispin in an email.

The Northern store closed recently, anticipating the opening of the co-op.

Now residents of the fly-in community are forced to rely a lot more on food shipped from Whitehorse.

Roger Kyikavichik, recently elected chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, said a local non-profit started selling staples to residents.

“There is some food being sold here, like bread, eggs, sugar and milk,” he said.

“For me it’s been alright but I know that for most people who have children, they find it hard. More people are getting their food from Whitehorse.”

There might be plans for the people behind the co-op to start selling food out of the old Northern store, but that remains to be confirmed, he said.

The idea for the store came about when residents spoke out against the high cost of food in the community.

“The reason we want a co-op store is to decrease the high prices of good food in our community,” said Rispin at the time.

“As you know, we’re an isolated community and we have all our produce and groceries flown in.”

The Northern store used to benefit from the federal Nutrition North program, which subsidizes shipping prices for retailers on healthy foods, but residents said they preferred the older Food Mail program.

That program allowed them to buy their own groceries in Whitehorse and ship them at subsidized rates.

Old Crow residents lobbied to keep the personal shipping subsidy, but it is greatly reduced under the new system.

Under the Nutrition North Canada program, residents pay $0.83 per kilogram in shipping on most nutritious perishable foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.

A less subsidized rate – $2.63 per kilogram – applies to other eligible foods, such as flour, crackers and ice cream.

The co-op is being built next to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s maintenance compound.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read