For many years, Gloria Hobbs lived with her husband on the south side of Youngstown, where there was a grocery store a few blocks away. Unfortunately, the passing of Gloria’s husband and the economic downtown precipitated many changes in her life. She now lives in subsidized senior housing downtown and is no longer able to drive, which unfortunately means she no longer has convenient access to a grocery store.
For Gloria and the 300 other seniors living in the complex, a trip to the store now entails four buses. It also changes what they can buy. “Going by bus, I can only carry two, maybe three grocery bags,” Gloria said.
Some seniors opt to avoid the walk to the bus stop and waiting in the cold, heat and rain, by taking senior rides to the store. While the senior housing will subsidize these and it allows for more than a few bags of groceries, Gloria’s neighbors have shared that it still costs between $10 and $20 per ride. This is a substantial amount when living on a fixed income.
“My only choice downtown is to get food at the convenience store around the corner. They don’t sell greens or meat. They do sell apples, oranges, bananas, and potatoes, at twice the rate of a grocery store. Seniors on fixed income can’t afford to pay twice the going rate for healthy foods,” Gloria shared. She believes since moving downtown, her health has deteriorated in ways related to lack of items for a healthy diet.
Gloria supports efforts to make a change. She believes development of an Ohio Healthy Food Financing program will positively impact Ohioans who live in areas like hers, that currently do not have a grocery store. Learn more about Healthy Food Financing efforts and how we can all help.