Food Matters Manitoba has named downtown as Winnipeg's least healthy neighbourhood.
A report claims access to healthy, affordable foods has plunged in the city’s core and forced many to rely on stores with fewer healthy food options and higher prices.
Kreesta Doucette with Food Matters said poor food choices lead to increased health care costs down the road.
“We need to figure out a way to make sure that we get at least one full service grocery store downtown, because in the end it's going to be all Manitobans who pay the price,” said Doucette.
“Even though it is seen as a private sector issue, all of us pay for health care costs.”
Doucette said some people downtown would also benefit from help with menu planning and healthy cooking skills.
“They really struggle. One senior said that since Zellers closed, they have to take the bus to the nearest full service grocery store and it costs more so [they] can't go as often,” said Doucette.
“I also can't carry many groceries at a time, so it’s become quite a challenge to try and get everything that I need."
The study found the average income of downtown residents is less than half of the city average.