Calls for a new grocery store in Winnipeg's downtown and Exchange District have been growing louder recently, but where can people living in the area buy groceries in the meantime?

Many in the city core have been raising concerns about the lack of grocery options after the grocery store in The Bay downtown and the Extra Foods on Notre Dame Avenue closed.

Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi has suggested that a transit bus be re-routed to take downtown area residents elsewhere to get their fruits and vegetables, while a bigger decision is made about a new, large grocery store that many would like to see in the core area. 

Phyllis Reid-Jarvis

Phyllis Reid-Jarvis, a registered dietitian and head of PRJ Consulting Inc., said there are some grocery choices for people in downtown Winnipeg but they are limited. (Supplied by Phyllis Reid-Jarvis)

So where does this leave people living in the Exchange District who don't have a vehicle or can't leave the neighbourhood?

Where do they get groceries? Is it even possible to get fresh produce and basic food items in the area, without having to hop on a bus?

"For the clients that I have who actually live downtown, quite a number of them are actually lower-income and their big struggle is finding fresh fruit and vegetables to eat," said Phyllis Reid-Jarvis, a registered dietitian and head of PRJ Consulting Inc.

"But what I'm hearing is that it's just too expensive, so there's the cost factor. So first and foremost, you don't have that many stores that are readily available with fresh produce [and] those that are available, that do serve them, the prices do go up."

Reid-Jarvis recently visited several grocery stores close to the Exchange, including a couple in Chinatown that had some fresh goods, like fruit and eggs, as well as dry goods.

She also visited Giant Tiger on Donald Street, a short walk from Old Market Square. There, she was surprised to find meat, poultry, eggs, milk, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables.

"There's a fantastic selection here of fresh produce," Reid-Jarvis said. "I am pleasantly surprised."