TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – “What would happen if we looked at healthcare and the grocery store as the first line of defense to making sure that you had healthy communities?” asked Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald.
Mayor McDonald says she is looking for ways to bring grocery stores back to the city after Foodtown, the last grocery store, announced it would be closing its doors.
Mayor McDonald says she believes there is an important link between healthcare and food. She notes that there are dozens of places to grab fast food in Trotwood but little to no places to buy nutritious food.
“I see it as important as police and fire. We need healthy food in our community to help our citizens stay healthy,” said Mayor McDonald.
So, the mayor says she is planning to write a letter to local, state, and federal legislators introducing the idea of a food prescription program to entice grocery businesses back.
“My hope would be that legislators create the opportunity to incentivize a grocery store businesses in any community. Especially the communities where you have [cases] of high blood pressure, diabetes and all of those things that are plaguing communities that don’t have healthcare options [and] don’t have good food options,” said Mayor McDonald.
In Dayton, families of patients at Dayton Children’s Hospital are screened for food insecurity, then offered a box of nutritious food and fresh produce through the food prescription program offered by the Foodbank.
“Time is of the essence families are busy, seniors are busy, adults are busy and it’s just really important to meet people where they are and [give] them the support that they need,” said Chief Development Officer of the Foodbank, Lee Lauren Truesdale.
This support includes funding and legislation for these programs according to Truesdale.
“Working with legislators and other elected officials [and] ensuring that those types of programs are funded and available is critical,” said Truesdale.