Stepping Up: Trumbull Mobile Meals, Youngstown United Way

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Business Journal is asking companies and organizations to tell us how they are faring and what they are doing to help others through this pandemic crisis.

We call this series “Stepping Up.” Segments will continue to be posted during the crisis.

Submit your own story at

Trumbull Mobile Meals

WARREN, Ohio – With the majority of the clients it serves considered at risk for COVID-19, Trumbull Mobile Meals has taken “extreme measures” to ensure the safety of its clients and employees, says CEO Rebecca Edwards.

““The agency went from delivering meals 5 days a week to only 1 day a week but supplying an entire week of meals. Delivering this much food on any one given day is something our team never did before.  The team works through the weekend to make this happen. Our first week was a challenging learning experience,” she says. “Trumbull Mobile Meals volunteer drivers are wonderful and they stepped up to help deliver all this food.  We provide 1 hot meal and/or picnic style lunch for Monday and for the remainder of the week’s meals are frozen.  Each meal still comes with a beverage, bread and fruit.  That is a lot of food to deliver in one day”

To handle the additional food being delivered, the agency purchased additional freezers, as well as extra-large drably bags, Edwards says. Care is still being taken to ensure every client has food that meets their own tastes.

“Mondays and Fridays are their most challenging days. Fridays include packing up all the dry goods for Monday’s delivery.   With the new delivery schedule, Monday’s mean adhering to a strict timeline to ensure meals go out on time,” she says. “This past Monday [April 20] Trumbull Mobile Meals sent out 1,300 meals  – with growing numbers each week – to recipients in the community. There are a lot of variables in the meals they prepare, including following specific diet notations and/or if they have restrictions making sure they receive their special meals. There are a lot of details that go into preparing, organizing and sending out meals.”

Trumbull Mobile Meals operates 29 routes through the county. Volunteers work to load the vans and some loads are shuttled to pick-up sites such as Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland, Handel’s Ice Cream in Niles and Bel Wick Bowl in Hubbard so divers don’t have to return to downtown Warren for deliveries.

““I have to say, many businesses, banks, funders, residents and volunteers have been very supportive of our mission and what we strive to do in our community. We have a special notes campaign going on and many of our volunteers have been personally creating and providing special note cards for our clients,” Edwards says. “We put them in their delivery bags in hopes to give them a smile and a ray of sunshine. We love our community. We may be a small agency, but we have big hearts,”

United Way

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley have partnered with Nemenz IGA, Save A Lot and the Churchill Commons Giant Eagle to provide $75,000 in grocery store gift cars to students throughout the area.

The $50 and $25 gift cards have been given to families in 19 school districts in Mahoning County, as well as in Girard, Liberty and Hubbard.

United Way has also worked with Youngstown City School District on the weekly food distribution for students in the district.

“Now that school is canceled, we will be helping for at least the next six weeks,” says United Way President Bob Hannon.

The nonprofit also worked to create education packets for students, delivering them to 94 families throughout the school district.

In total, since launching the COVID-19 Response Fund, the United Way has raised $160,000. The fund is supported by donations, which can be made here, and the Jane F. Lamb Charitable Foundation and the William M. Neckerman Jr. Foundation. 

A full list of agencies supported by the fund is available here

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