People without access to a healthy food option, like a grocery store, are considered at-risk by Elgin-St. Thomas Public Health.

They were highlighted in a report submitted to the local Board of Health, identifying “food deserts” – areas without access to healthy food – in Elgin and St. Thomas. Food deserts are urban areas more than one kilometre from healthy food, and rural areas more than 16 kilometres from healthy food.

“We have seen that there are pockets in St. Thomas, Aylmer, and Port Stanley,” said Kendall Chambers, registered dietician with the public health department. “But we’re more worried about rural areas, [especially] in East Elgin. That’s where we’re focusing.”