Homefull staff and partners have created a 42-foot mobile grocery truck as a way to close the gap between residents and fresh food.
The truck was created to address West Dayton’s food desert following the closure of two grocery stores. The truck will make stops daily at churches and community centers beginning Oct. 26.
“For us, housing, food and jobs are a big part of who we are as an organization, and creating stability and creating job opportunities for people and really trying to address the issue of food,” Homefull CEO Tina Patterson said.
The full-service grocery truck will offer frozen foods, fresh and refrigerated items from Associated Wholesale Grocers. It also has dry foods and household products like washing detergent and paper towels. It won’t sell tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets.
“It’s about getting food. It’s about what’s best for neighborhoods and families,” Patterson said.
The mobile grocery accepts most forms of payment including SNAP benefits and is working to get WIC approved.
Transportation is one of the key elements as to why residents can’t get to grocery stores. When the truck comes to the Sinclair Community College lot, RTA will provide shuttle services from local senior centers to the truck and back to their homes.
Homefull received CARES Act money from the county to help pay for the project.
“The county has committed $575,000 to this project because we know that equitable healthy food access is essential to improving the health outcomes of our residents,” Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge said.
The money covered the cost of the truck, the driver’s salary and the point of sale system.
The grocery trucks full schedule is posted on Homefull’s website and social media accounts. The organization also will send out grocery mailings to those in the area. “We sent out a flier to the zip code areas. 47,000 flyers hit the neighborhoods that we plan to be in," Patterson said.