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Nonprofit uses $10,000 grocery grant to also boost local stores

person checks out groceries at store with a yellow shopping cart
Have A Gay Day spent a grant for its food pantry by stocking up at local grocery stores, including International Halal Market (pictured).

When a Dayton nonprofit, Have A Gay Day, received a $10,000 grant to fill its food pantry, they used the money to not just fight hunger but also boost local businesses.

Have A Gay Day is a nonprofit focused on creating a safe environment for equality, education, and support of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

One of their services includes a busy food pantry, which gave out over 86,000 pounds of food for the 2022 fiscal year.

When Have a Gay Day was granted $10,000 from Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services to stock up their pantry, Executive Director Michael Knote said they intentionally chose to shop at eight local stores.

three people load groceries into a van in the evening outside Dot's Market with the name of the grocery store in view on a sign
Have A Gay Day
Have A Gay Day volunteers load groceries from Dots Market into their van.

The grocery runs ranged between $700 to around $1,800 and included stores like International Halal Market, La Michoacána Mexican Market, Gem City Market, Dots Market and others.

Knote said this grant will have a ripple effect through the area.

“So it's not just a single give. It's a give to the community through supporting local business and then a give back into the community through the pantry, offering up these fresh items; a variety of things that probably some have never seen before,” he said.

Knote said community members can expect the organization to do more initiative in the future like this grocery grant as Have A Gay Day grows.

groceries at a checkout counter while a cashier checks out
Have A Gay Day
A cashier checks out Have A Gay Day's groceries at Gem City Market.

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.