Old North Dayton Rallies After Memorial Day Tornadoes Create Supermarket Desert
The Old North Dayton Neighborhood Association is organizing a new effort to transport residents to nearby grocery stores after a tornado ripped apart the area's only full-service grocery. The neighborhood was among the hardest-hit in the Miami Valley Memorial Day tornado outbreak.
Stacy Meyers works at Evans Bakery in Old North Dayton. The mother of five also lives in the neighborhood and says she’s been spending $50 to $100 more on food for her family each week since the tornado destroyed the Grocery Lane store.
“Now I have to shop at the dollar store or the Mexicano store. It’s a struggle,” Meyers says. “You have to budget your money a lot more because to get food around here is twice the cost. And it’s bad on your health.”
Meyers doesn’t own a car. She says that means bumming rides from friends or family, or taking multiple buses to buy affordable, healthy food for her children.
It's unclear whether or when Grocery Lane may rebuild or reopen.
In the meantime, Jennifer Evans, who owns Evans Bakery, says the neighborhood association has started a committee on food scarcity to address the neighborhood's lack of a full-service supermarket.
Organizers are working with Dayton-area food pantries and partnering with Love Monkey Ministries to bring residents on grocery runs.
“They’ve got a church that has a couple vans. They’re getting volunteer drivers. They’ll come in once a week, pick people up, drive them to the grocery. If they need it, [they'll] help them get their groceries,” Evans says.
The committee’s meetings used to be held at the neighborhood's public library, but crowds grew so large organizers needed to find a new venue.
Its next meeting is expected to be held at the Health Pavilion in Dayton Children’s Hospital Thursday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m.
Van service is planned to begin in the new year.