Southern Porcupine: Crossing the Food Desert

It was finally on November 24 that a branch of the series Food Basics Opened in the mall south porcupine.

District Municipal Counsellor, John Curley Welcome the timely arrival of this food giant.

« This is really good news. Residents of South Porcupine and the surrounding area have not had access to a large grocery store for more than two years. »

Quote from John Curley, Ward 4 Consultant, Timmins

For the past year, it’s been the only food oasis in the Giant Tiger store sign, in the same commercial building.

This large, non-food retail venture has agreed to add some staples to its offering, including milk and eggs, the city councilman explains.

The food desert is an area that provides poor access to businesses that can promote healthy eating and is socially and economically disadvantaged, according to the National Institute of Public Health in Quebec. (A new window) (INSPQ).

Concretely, this means a place, in an urban setting, where there are no food stores within a radius of 1 km which is a disadvantage. In rural areas, where the car is used more, the threshold is set at 16 km. Deprivation is measured by taking into account employment rate, education level, and median income.

Activate the shopping center

Access Food Basics Already have repercussions on the vitality of the shopping center porcupine.

John Curley It indicates that the parking lot is full, which is of interest to businessmen, he explains.

« The mall comes back to life! It’s impressive how a grocery store can attract other businesses to an area where they haven’t had one before. »

Quote from John Curley, Ward 4 Consultant, Timmins

Curley says companies are currently interested in the space in the mall porcupine He will consider moving there, possibly in December.

Feedback on the cooperative

With a petition of 3,200 signatures on hand, in September 2020 a group of citizens proposed the creation of a food cooperative, but a municipal committee rejected the proposal.

Pôle Développement’s principal director, Annie Goyal, was involved in the collaborative project at the time.

Today, she’s delighted that the residents of South Porcupine are finally getting the proper food service.

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