A Winnipeg woman is using her new pilot’s licence to help feed her neighbours to the north, where food prices are much higher than in the city.

On Dec. 28, after several weather-related setbacks, Andi Sharma plans to fly approximately 160 kilograms of food to the Poplar River First Nation, a fly-in community located nearly 350 kilometres north of Winnipeg as the crow flies.

“I just came up with this idea and I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to just put it out into the universe and see what comes of it,’” Sharma told CTV Winnipeg. “And the response from the community in Winnipeg was incredible.”

Sharma, who works as a senior analyst with the Manitoba government’s Northern Healthy Foods Initiative, says she learned how to fly as a teenager but only earned her pilot’s licence last summer.

Sharma says that it only took a few hours to raise the donated goods. The flight will take two-and-a-half hours.

“Working as a senior analyst in the province in the south, the food security work that I do feels really abstract,” she said. “And this is a way that I can really get my hands dirty and get down to the community level and make a difference, even if it’s in a small way.”