YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Leaders with the community religious organization known as A.C.T.I.O.N. claim its been six years since Youngstown officials announced they would bring a grocery store to the city – but nothing has happened yet.
“So while we’re waiting on the grocery store, an actual grocery store, we decided and thought that we have groceries to pour most vulnerable people,” said organizer Rose Carter.
For the last three years, the organization has offered weekly pop-up markets around the city during the summer months. But now the group has started a massive fundraising campaign to purchase a van, stock it with groceries and then obtain vouchers to help residents buy what they need.
Organizers told First News the van will enable more people to be helped.
“We can do more locations, we can do better frequency, we can offer more food,” said organizer Vicki Vicars.
Organizers have started a GoFundMe page for individual donations, and will also reach out to private donors – but it’s going to be a tall order.
“In fact, I think it’s like… $511,000 is what our goal is,” Vicars said.
They say the idea of delivering food right into neighborhoods and onto people’s doorsteps is by no means a new one.
“I know my parents and grandparents had food delivered to them. There was the milk man, there was the egg man – so it’s just reinventing an old concept,” Vicars said.
For now, the pop up markets will continue into September. It could be early next year before the mobile meal van is ready.