food desert

If Gem City's fundraising effort is successful, construction will begin early next year. The store is set to open in the summer of 2019.
April Laissle / WYSO

Organizers have secured a location for Gem City Market, a planned co-operative grocery store designed to help alleviate food insecurity in West Dayton.

Officials announced this morning Gem City Market will be built in one of Ohio’s largest food deserts, on the 300 and 400 blocks of Salem Avenue in Northwest Dayton. The site currently houses a vacant lot and shuttered art supply shop.

Organizers are hoping to raise a total of $4.2 million to fund the project. More than one-third of that amount has already been committed.

Stats + Stories: Are Communities Helped By Terraforming Food Deserts?

May 13, 2018
Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar is a senior statistician and Director of the Statistics Advisory Center at RAND Corporation.	Her current research interests center on leveraging natural experiment designs to estimate the effects of neighborhood-level 'interventions'
via Stats + Stories

WYSO is partnering with Stats and Stories, a podcast produced at Miami University.

The Rand Corporation is a global think-tank which launched in 1948. The original purpose of providing analysis to the U.S. Military, and now conducts research and analysis for governments, universities and other organizations from all over the world. Rand's policy interests include children and families, national security, and health and health care among many other issues. Rand's health related research is the focus of this episode of Stats & Stories. Host Rosemary Pennington and regular panelists are Department of Statistics' Chair John Bailer and Department of Media, Journalism and Film's Chair, Richard Campbell are joined by guest Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar. She's a Senior Statistician and Director of the Statistical Advisory Center at Rand. Ghosh-Dastidar's work has examined issues related to HIV, as well as Population Health and recent research has examined how neighborhood-level changes in health behaviors impacts health outcomes.

The Gem City Market project has received a $220,000 Grant from insurance giant CareSource. "We are thrilled to receive this vote of confidence from Caresource," says Amaha Sellassie, Gem City Market Board President.
Gem City Market

Thousands of West Dayton residents who lack easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables could soon have a full-service food market close to home.


The west side has been without a convenient source of fresh produce since 2008, when a neighborhood Kroger grocery store shut down. Since then, city officials have tried attracting a new grocer without success.


The Market at Wright Stop Plaza is open inside the bus station Tues.-Thurs. from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. food desert rta bus dayton
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

As many as 18 million people in the U.S. live in a food desert—defined by the USDA as a low-income area with limited access to a grocery store. Around one in five Dayton residents are low-income people living in food desert areas, and a significant number also lack access to a vehicle.