Make a difference: Volunteers, items needed for Homefull’s new mobile grocery

The Homefull Mobile Grocery held a open house in October, shortly before it began visiting Dayton neighborhoods.
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The Homefull Mobile Grocery held a open house in October, shortly before it began visiting Dayton neighborhoods.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

New truck brings convenience to neighborhoods hit hardest by the closing of traditional groceries

How can we help the homeless in these challenging times?

Here’s one opportunity: The organization known as Homefull works to end homelessness by providing housing, services, advocacy and education. The nonprofit offers a comprehensive continuum of care and services, from homelessness prevention to permanent housing. The organization is part of a network of services in Montgomery County designed to help people help themselves.

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One of the newest initiatives focuses on helping to reduce food deserts in the area. The new Homefull Mobile Grocery is a custom-built, 42-foot truck with expandable sides that follows a regular 10-stop schedule each week, going to local community centers, low-income and senior housing sites, hospitals and more. It offers most everything a traditional bricks-and-mortar store would offer — canned goods, meats, dairy, fresh produce, paper products, cleaning supplies, etc. This project is a partnership between Homefull and Premier Health, Kettering Health Network, Montgomery County, the City of Dayton and Ginghamsburg Church.

The mobile grocery offers most everything a traditional bricks-and-mortar store would offer, including dairy products. CONTRIBUTED
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The mobile grocery offers most everything a traditional bricks-and-mortar store would offer, including dairy products. CONTRIBUTED

“It has been very well received in the community and so rewarding to hear from customers who had few options to shop for their groceries without significant time taking the bus to and from a store several miles away,” said Tina Patterson, Homefull CEO. “It really is about bringing choice and convenience to neighborhoods hit hardest by the closing of traditional grocery stores and assisting some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

ExploreHomefull introduces new mobile food grocery to Dayton area residents

The Mobile Grocery accepts most all forms of payment, including SNAP/EBT and offers different incentives for free produce for those using their SNAP/EBT cards and seniors who meet income guidelines and are 60 and over.

The grocery relies on volunteers to assist with its operations, and also needs other donated items for the housing programs it operates for individuals and families with children who were formerly homeless. Many of these items are essential, especially during COVID-19, in order to keep their clients, staff and volunteers as safe as possible.

Here’s what they need

  • Gift cards: Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, Target
  • Cleaning supplies: All-purpose cleaners, toilet and shower cleaners, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes
  • Paper products: Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags
  • Laundry supplies: Detergent, dryer sheets and fabric softener
  • Personal hygiene items: Men’s and women’s deodorant, soap/body wash, shampoo/conditioner
  • School supplies

In order to limit personal contact, donation drop-offs can be scheduled by emailing info@homefull.org or by calling (937) 293-1945 ext. 535. Items can also be purchased online and directly shipped to Homefull, 829 S. Gettysburg Ave. Dayton, OH 45417.

For those interested in volunteering with the Mobile Grocery store, please email info@homefull.org or call (937) 293-1945 ext. 535.

For more information: www.homefull.org and like Homefull and the Mobile Grocery on Facebook and Twitter.


MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations in our area and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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