By BOB COUPLAND
WARREN - Farmers markets will be held each month at St. Joseph Minor Emergency Care and St. Elizabeth Health Center to reach out to those in need in Warren and Youngstown.
The Lake-to-River Food Cooperative is partnering with Humility of Mary Health Partners to bring fresh produce to its employees and nearby residents. Farmers who produce locally grown, sustainable produce will be featured at each of the markets, which are scheduled May through October.
Melissa Miller, marketing manager of Lake-to-River Food Cooperative, said the farm markets will be from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at St. Joe's, 1296 Tod Place N.W., and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the third Wednesday at St. Elizabeth's.
The next Warren date is July 11, due to the Fourth of July holiday.
She said the sites were selected because of the west side of Warren is considered a ''food desert'' by the United States Department of Agriculture. A food desert is a place without access to fresh produce.
"The farmers' market is a joint venture to get fresh healthy food to the west side of Warren,'' Miller said adding that HMHP has provided the space and community outreach.
She said the items are locally grown seasonal products and valued added items.
Mike Blank, manager of the St. Joe's Minor Emergency, said he was approached for the hospital to be a possible site because it is in an urban setting on the westside of Warren.
"Locally grown produce on the westside of Warren is rare,'' he said.
Patty Rush, communications for St. Joseph, said the cooperative effort benefits the local residents. She said the location is also shaded during the summer. In case of rain, it will be held in the building's main lobby.