WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A local non-profit group in Warren is trying to tackle the issue of hunger and bring awareness to the need for food in the community.

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership plans to hold a series of meetings to discuss local access to food — the first took place Saturday morning.

The meeting covered hunger and access, as topics ranged from food pantries and other programs to eating patterns.

Cassandra Clevenger is the program manager of TNP’s Grow program, which partners with organizations and community members to increase access to healthy, affordable and locally-grown foods.

“We have an idea of what’s going on in the city and people are having problems with access,” Clevenger said. “But we need to know to what extent that is occurring.”

Clevenger hopes the focus groups will help humanize a very real problem in the area.

She believes the south side of Warren is in the most trouble. She said with Warren’s five grocery stores being on the north side of town, the places on the south side are lacking.

“Most of the stores in the city — particularly on the south side of the city — do not have access to fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables,” Clevenger said.

Another issue TNP identified on Saturday was a lack of transportation.

The Mahoning Valley Dream Center is helping fix that, as they’ll be using a food truck for deliveries soon.

“One of the challenges with food assistance is people don’t have the resources to get to the local food banks or local food pantries,” said Michael Aiken of MVDC.

Meetings will continue next week and go until the last weekend in March. The next is Monday at the Highland Terrace Community Room in Warren from 4-5:30 p.m.

More dates can be found on Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership’s website.

“We want everyone to come out to this conversation because it’s going to take an entire community to fix where we are right now,” Clevenger said.