Innovating to Improve the Food Security of Montrealers

Year One Report: 2020-21


This pilot project kicked off right as the pandemic overtook Quebec, exacerbating the existing food security issues in our city. It was in this context of a sharp rise in urgent needs and of a reduction in available community resources that the project started up. This situation necessarily had important repercussions, notably on the implementation of the project. Despite overwhelmed community staff from organizations stretched to their capacity and correspondingly delayed planning processes, however, the project managed to exceed all of its pilot-year targets and objectives, and had an impressive, statistically significant positive impact on the diet and food habits of Montrealers. We invite you to consult the full Year One Report (in French only at this time!), or otherwise check out the overview of results below.  

A few key numbers
810 pre-payed cards distributed to vulnerable households
32 partner organisations covering 8 boroughs
8 partner markets, 13 points of sale


“This project gives us the opportunity to fulfill our mandate. The alignment between our market and the Carte Proximité really allows us to reach our target folks and to reach our mission.”

– Director of a partner market


What are the Effects of the Card on the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables?

Proportion de répondants ayant une consommation ≥ 5 fruits et légumes/jour

Proportion de répondants ayant une consommation ≥ 5 fruits et légumes/jour

From the start to the end of the project, an increase of 0,9 servings per day per person of fruits and vegetables was observed.

Carte Proximité attracted new regular clients to participating markets: 2 out of 5 respondents purchased goods at the markets at least once each week.

The majority of respondents reported an increase in the quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables purchased, and a decrease in personal money spent on their weekly groceries.  


“We see an increase of almost an entire portion [of fruits and vegetables] per day! That is an enormous impact.”

– Geneviève Mercille, Adjunct Professor, Nutrition Department, UQAM


“Receiving a Carte Proximité allowed my family to visit the Marché (Solidaire Frontenac) for the first time, but more importantly to choose fruits and vegetables (from Québec) according to our tastes to cook recipes that we love. My kids were so happy to buy blueberries. They finished the carton even before we left the market!”

– A program participant


Collaboration with the Research Chair on Ecological Transition of UQAM

In order to document and evaluate the project, Carte Proximité collaborated with the Research Chair on Ecological Transition of Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and formed a research committee made up of Geneviève Mercille, René Audet and Éliane Brisebois, who were able to make valuable contributions to support the research team. This team was made up of Myreille Hébert, hired as a research professional whose mandate was to assess some of the impacts of the project, and Jennifer Vesic, a master’s student in nutrition who studied the implementation of the project. A big thank you to all!