1 in 5 Canadians lives in a Food Desert. What is it? A Food Desert is defined as a geographic area where affordable, high-quality fresh and nutritious food is difficult to access. While found across Canada, Food Deserts are especially prevalent in northern towns where locally grown food is limited, where there are few stores, or where it’s expensive to bring real food in.
The plight of people living in Food Deserts has come to light with recent media attention, but I’ve been aware of it for years being part of the RCMP community in Canada. Families posted to northern communities, having lived their whole lives in an urban or lush rural area, are often shocked and appaled at the scarce availability of fresh food and the high prices attached. They know that in 2-4 years they will move on to the next post. But what of the people living in Food Deserts their entire lives? What does their nutrition consist of and how can we be OK with asking them to pay more for nutritious food without looking for a solution instead?
Through the Real Food Movement campaign, Hellmann’s is helping Canadians understand the plight of others in our vast country who live in Food Deserts. Check out the video below for a unique way they shared this message recently:
To amplify the conversation, Hellmann’s is encouraging consumers to share how much they pay for tomatoes using the hashtag #MyTomato on social media.
It helps bring personal awareness (I toodled over to my neighborhood grocery store and really saw how much fresh, low priced produce we have, in contrast to the video above, so I could take a picture this week) and also helps create further awareness online, when followers wonder, “What’s #MyTomato all about?”
Consumers can also sign a petition to help Canadians get access to healthful food through the brand’s Facebook page. Hellmann’s will also be donating $75,000 to the Northern Farm Training Institute to fund greenhouse construction to create long-term food solutions.