One Winnipeg woman is fighting food insecurity in Manitoba’s North a big way — by flying 350 pounds of food there herself.
As an internationally recognized policy analyst, Andi Sharma has been working on food security issues for years.
She recently got her pilot’s license and decided to marry the two passions by making plans to fly food to Poplar River First Nation.
“Sometimes when I’m at my desk working on food security things, that can be very abstract,” she said.
“But this really gets me to the community level, to the boots-on-the-ground level and that feels really good.”
Sharma said got her love of flying from her dad, who took her on a discovery flight, a short flight with a pilot that typically includes your participation when she was a teenager. Her dad died not long after, she said.
Though she always wanted to, it wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she decided to finally go after her pilot’s license.
“I’ve gotten to a place where I could finally pick it up again and honour his memory,” she said.
Sharma has been working with an elder in the First Nation to coordinate the trip. Originally, the plan was to fly up to Poplar River on Christmas Eve, but the weather was too dodgy for Sharma to make the flight.
She’s now watching the forecast to find the right day to go.