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Local Nonprofits Receive Grants For Food Security Initiatives In Dayton

Group picture of nonprofit grantees at the community room in the Gem City Market. From left to right: Darius Beckham, Michael Schulz, Robbie Brandon, LaDawn Turner, Michael Knote, Rhonda Miller, Tony Hall
Alejandro Figueroa
/
WYSO
Group photo of the nonprofit grantees at the community room in the Gem City Market. From left to right: Darius Beckham, Michael Schulz, Robbie Brandon, LaDawn Turner, Michael Knote, Rhonda Miller, Tony Hall.

The Hall Hunger Initiative — a partner of United Way of Greater Dayton — announced a series of $5,000 micro-grants to fund organizations helping food insecure communities in the city of Dayton.

In the community room at the Gem City Market, former Congressman Tony Hall announced five micro-grants for nonprofits working on innovative food security projects.

Hall said the issue of hunger and food insecurity is far from over in Ohio. Montgomery County alone has a 15% food insecurity rate. That’s over 80,000 people. The COVID-19 pandemic likely increased that number, according to a report from Feeding America.

“You know what? You have to come and you have to see it, you have to look for it. And, a lot of people have stereotypes in their minds and the fact is that there’s a tremendous amount of poverty and hunger around us.” Hall said.

The Healthy Family Market — a project of the Sunlight Village nonprofit — is one of the organizations to receive a micro-grant. The planned pharmacy-style grocery store will be two blocks away from the Desoto Bass housing complex in west Dayton.

Robbie Brandon, Co-director of the Healthy Family Market, said the grant will help with securing the building while it’s being renovated.

The store will pursue a health-conscious initiative while also providing affordable, healthy foods.

While it’s still seeking funding to finish renovating its building, which was purchased in partnership with the Greater Dayton Premier Management, the market is still scheduled to open by spring of 2022, according to Brandon.

“We have a lot of residents in the community that don't have [food] access for their children and want healthy meals on their table every night. They deserve that,” Brandon said. “This funding is going to help us bring that security as we work to renovate the building.”

Other purposes for the grants can go toward projects like building repairs, buying delivery vans, development expenses and other needed improvements.

Local nonprofits working on food insecurity can still apply. There’s more information on the grants at hallhunger.org

Food reporter Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.