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Gem City Market again accepting WIC benefits

The Gem City Market on Salem Ave co-op opened in January 2022.
Renee Wilde
The Gem City Market on Salem Ave co-op opened in January 2022.

Gem City Market is once again accepting payment through the Women and Infant Children program (also known as WIC), expanding grocery options for many women and children in Dayton.

WIC helps low-income pregnant women and mothers of children up to 5 years old pay for specific staples such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, and baby food. Around half of all babies are covered by WIC.

The Gem City Market stopped taking WIC in 2022 due to significant losses on the program. Now the market has a more affordable wholesale provider, so it can again participate in the program.

Mark Willis is director of the Hall Hunger Initiative, a longtime partner of the Gem City Market. He said accepting WIC is the best way to serve mothers and families while maintaining their mission to serve the community.

We're really trying to not just let folks know it's at Gem City Market, but let them know this can really help you and your baby," he said. "Right now, grocery food prices are still high and people are, you know, we want to make sure that they don't sacrifice the healthy food to get something cheaper.

WIC only covers specific products on a state-approved list.

Willis said Gem City staff have been trained to better help mothers and families use WIC.

Shay Frank was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Before working at WYSO, Shay worked as the Arts Writer for the Blade Newspaper in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to working at the paper, she worked as a freelancer for WYSO for three years and served as the vice president of the Toledo News Guild. Now located back in the Dayton area, Shay is thrilled to be working with the team at WYSO and reporting for her hometown community.