It would be utopian to believe that all Quebecers eat their fill, even in 2020. Despite the initiatives of food banks, food baskets and public markets that are multiplying, many remain unequal in terms of access to fresh and healthy products, especially fruits and vegetables. In the province of Quebec, 420,000 individuals live in a food desert.
According to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, a food desert is a geographic area where very few shops offer the products necessary for a healthy diet. In these often socio-economically disadvantaged areas, access to fresh fruits and vegetables is extremely low.
Concretely, in an urban environment, this is a place where there are no food shops within a radius of 1 km. In the rural sector, this threshold is established at 16 km, the use of cars being more common. In some areas of Montreal, citizens have only access to local convenience stores, which offer food that is not very nutritious for health. When there is no food shops for miles around, it is hard to imagine changing the eating habits of the most disadvantaged.
Local urban agriculture reduces food deserts. At MicroHabitat, planting vegetable gardens in these areas helps reconnect communities to nature and educates people about the production and consumption of fresh food. The Champlain school garden project, located in the Center-Sud district itself considered a food desert, illustrates the positive impacts of such an initiative. Our educational workshops have mobilized parents and students to learn healthy eating habits. They have also benefited from the harvest of fresh vegetables throughout the season!
Everyone should have access to fresh and healthy products.
Together, let’s cultivate change.
Would you like to contribute to the dynamic change of an entire community? Contact us to discuss your future urban vegetable garden project!