A new, interactive online tool is giving Winnipeggers a first-hand look at food and nutrition insecurity in the city.
The Winnipeg Food Atlas is a resource developed by community groups to help city planners and organizations tackle food and nutrition issues.
“It really helps us start to think about the food system at the municipal scale,” said Jeanette Sivilay, coordinator for the Winnipeg Food Council.
The atlas can be found online on the Manitoba Collaborative Data Portal. It features pre-loaded data layers, an interactive map and data dashboards.
Users can click on the different areas of the city — which are shaded based on income level — to learn the median and average incomes, the population total, and the number of houses in each income category. People can also use the map to determine where food banks, community gardens, farmers markets, newcomer food stores and national chain stores are in the city.
Winnipeggers can also use the tool to find household food deserts, defined as five people living in a low income household more than 500 metres away from a full service or national chain food store, as well as neighbourhood food deserts, defined as low income dissemination blocks more than 500 metres away from full service or national chain food stores.
“It’s really important because Winnipeg has some pretty high levels of food insecurity, where people can’t afford to buy healthy foods because of income,” Sivilay said.
“And we also have nutrition insecurity where people are eating poor diets for a variety of reasons other than affordability. But it’s also really neat to have this because it gives the community a first-ever look at this kind of data in an interactive, online platform.”
Another feature of the map is the information it provides on diabetes in the city. Users can see the number of diabetes cases for people between the ages of 35 and 49, and diabetes rates by neighbourhood and city wards.
“It also gives really important information on food insecurity indicators and also demographic data and information on the cost and prevalence of diabetes, which we know is a growing nutrition-related health issue,” Sivilay said.
The Winnipeg Food Atlas Map can be found online.
– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.
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