Local food study to look at food accessibility in rural areas

The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health logo. (Photo submitted)

Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health is partnering with Libro Credit Union on a project that will look at food accessibility in Huron County.

Research Assistants Grace Bonnett and Sam Murray will be conducting the research over the next two years and Bonnett says there’s growing concern regarding food accessibility.

“We basically want to see where the food’s being made, where it’s being bought and then see if there’s any miss-match there, if we need new systems in place or if we need to strengthen systems, that’s one of the things we’re going to be looking into and making sure that it’s as easy as possible to get the food from the producer to the consumer.”

Bonnett also points out there is a degree of irony in the fact that people living in rural areas, where the food is produced, have less access to food.

She adds, there are some unique challenges facing rural residents, like lack of transportation and fewer grocery stores.

Murray says they basically want to see where the food’s being made, where it’s being bought and then see if there’s anything telling.

“We basically want to see where the food’s being made, where it’s being bought and then see if there’s any miss-match there, if we need new systems in place or if we need to strengthen systems, that’s one of the things we’re going to be looking into and making sure that it’s as easy as possible to get the food from the producer to the consumer.”

The project will run from February to August for the next two years so that they’re interacting with the food network when it’s at its peak. This year they’ll be talking to the producers and next year they’ll talk with consumers.

Bonnet adds, they would very much like to hear from any local food producers in Huron County and ask them to contact them through localfoodproject@gatewayruralhealth.ca.