With next month’s closure of the Metro grocery store at Porcupine Mall comes concerns about food security for east end residents.

Porcupine Health Unit dietitian Kaitlyn Comeau provides some context.

“Food security is when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious foods to maintain a health and active life,” she explains, “and this takes into consideration their dietary needs and their food preferences as well.”

Of particular concern are people who have challenges of one kind or another getting to a full-service grocery store.

Comeau says they tend to resort to fast food, gas stations and corner stores.

“Corner stores are usually more expensive than a typical grocery store and they do have a lot less variety,” remarks the dietitian. “They might have a few staples like bread or some bananas and stuff like that, but really, it’s not a place where you can do a big grocery shop to be able to cook healthy, nutritious meals at home.”

The convenient, tempting processed foods at corner stores are also less healthy because they’re high in sugar, fat and salt.