WYSO

Food insecurity

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 giant foodbank event aims to help some of the thousands of Montgomery County residents who don't know where their next meal will come from.
The Foodbank, Inc. / The Foodbank, Inc.

Crowds are expected at the ​University of Dayton Arena Friday for a giant food pantry giveaway. The annual event aims to help needy residents by providing them with fresh produce free of charge.

Miami Valley Foodbank organizers say they are preparing for as many as 1,500 families to line up this year to take home free boxes of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits.

The Foodbank’s Lora Davenport says produce is often too expensive for financially struggling families to afford.

A U.S. Census Bureau report released this week says the rate in Dayton was 17.3 percent in 2014, an increase of nearly a full percentage point from 2013.

The numbers mean that more than 134,000 Dayton residents were living below the poverty level last year, which is about $20,000 for a family of three.

The 17 percent poverty rate closely matches Ohio’s 16.9 percent food insecurity rate. Michelle Riley is with The Foodbank, a distribution group that delivers food supplies to 96 member agencies in Montgomery, Greene and Preble Counties.

A new report finds Ohio has the sixth highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. The term ‘food insecure’ is used to describe people without reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable and nutritious food.

 

The report from the USDA says in 2014, 16.9 percent of Ohioans lived in food insecure households.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks calls it “a serious crisis.” She says the economic recovery has failed to reach everyone in the state.

Dayton Weavers of Justice
Dayton Weavers of Justice

This week some Miami Valley organizations are raising awareness about hunger—by challenging residents who don't struggle with food insecurity to lower their food budgets.

Local churches and non-profits want you to find out whether you can feed yourself on $4.50 a day, or $37.50 a week, by taking the Hunger Solidarity Challenge.

LollyKnit / Flickr/Creative Commons

Hunger and food insecurity are still major problems in the Miami Valley even as the economic recovery gradually gets more people working. The Foodbank of the Miami Valley says it’s doing better meeting local residents’ needs than it was four years ago. That’s the last time a group called Feeding America did its periodic national survey of food banks and their users.