Going mobile: Mahoning Valley nonprofit reaching out to area’s food desert


WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A local company will be hitting the road to make it easier for needy families to access groceries.

The Mahoning Valley Dream Center’s food truck will be out in the city of Warren next week.

On certain Fridays, the truck will be parked in parts of town that have trouble accessing healthy foods. The Dream Center will provide fresh produce and other goods for free to those in need.

Marcella Zinz, the Dream Center’s outreach director, said they’ll be targeting elementary schools in Warren. In the summertime, they’ll expand to Wednesdays and Fridays, twice a month.

The Dream Center is providing groceries to just Warren for now, but they hope to expand one day.

“We call ourselves the Mahoning Valley Dream Center for a purpose. We want to expand into Youngstown areas as well,” said Marcella Zinz, the center’s outreach director.

Earlier this year, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership held meetings to hear people’s struggles with accessing groceries in Warren.

Cassandra Clevenger, from the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, said the south side of town is a food desert, meaning they don’t have access to fresh, healthy foods. Also, the public transportation routes don’t reach groceries stores located in the city.

“One young lady told us she has to wait two or three hours for a taxi to come pick her up after grocery shopping,” she said.

Clevenger says TNP will soon present a report to city leaders and those living in Warren.

Zinz said the truck will go where it’s needed.

“Our goal is to go where the needs are the greatest and provide healthy good choices for these families,” she said.

The Dream Center will post when and where the truck will be on its Facebook page and website, www.dreamcentermv.org.