Sherry Lalonde: Hi, my name is Sherry and I’m the food literacy specialist at the Ottawa Public Library. Recently, I spoke with Robert Tovell, board member for Deep Roots Food Hub, a non-profit organization in West Carleton. Robert Tovell: We’re a small not-for-profit in West Carleton, and we’ve been established for about two years now. A group of us came together, some local farmers, market gardeners, business people, health professionals; finding that small farmers that are starting up are finding some difficulties in connecting with customers. Sherry Lalonde: What kind of challenges do farmers and market gardeners face and how is Deep Roots Food Hub addressing them? Robert Tovell: One of the issues that small farmers are having are being able to build the necessary infrastructure to be able to grow the crops and store produce so that they can sell throughout the summer, as well extend into the winter. You can sell to the customers throughout the summer, but then when fall and winter comes they stop buying so in the springtime again its hard to get that clientele back. So, if we can provide them with storage capabilities then they can extend their marketing season and possibly keep those customers for a longer period. Robert Tovell: So we’re actually looking to build a community root cellar to help facilitate that issue for the farmers. Right now we have an agreement in place to build a root cellar on NCC land just in Nepean in collaboration with BeetBox, a co-operative farm. Sherry Lalonde: What other food security challenges are the residents of West Carleton dealing with? Robert Tovell: What we’re finding is West Carleton is considered a food desert, average round-trip to get to a grocery store from home is roughly 35 to 45 kilometres. So for someone that may not have the ability to leave their home on a regular basis or work in the city to be able to pop by a grocery store makes it difficult. So that’s one of the other areas we’re working on is distribution. Recently we’ve collaborated with Ottawa Public Health and their Good Food Corner Store project to bring fresh food to community corner stores. So we’ve started our first Good Food Corner Store in West Carleton at Nichol’s. It’s a community store, a gas station as well. So they have a nice display of produce that residents can now have access to.