The Market at Wright Stop Plaza is open inside the bus station Tues.-Thurs. from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. food desert rta bus dayton
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

As many as 18 million people in the U.S. live in a food desert—defined by the USDA as a low-income area with limited access to a grocery store. Around one in five Dayton residents are low-income people living in food desert areas, and a significant number also lack access to a vehicle.

Masahiro Ihara / Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday night in Dayton, World Food Prize Laureate and president of the organization Bread for the World, the Rev. David Beckmann, spoke about ending local and world hunger.

The event is sponsored by Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley and the Catholic Social Action Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 

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.

One Bistro will continue operating its food truck in downtown Xenia as it continues renovations on its new location at 87 E. Main St.
Ariel Van Cleave / WYSO

One Bistro is starting construction on its new storefront restaurant in downtown Xenia. The organization will move into one side of the Toward Independence building and share space.  

One Bistro has been providing meals and outreach services for the last three years from its initial location in Miamisburg.

Robert Adamson is the founder and executive chef for the group. He says One Bistro has been focused on helping people who might not know where their next meal is coming from.  

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.

Food Pantries Turn To Text Messages To Help Hungry

Dec 15, 2014
Masahiro Ihara / Flickr Creative Commons

A new program using text messages will allow hungry central Ohio residents to learn more about the nearest food banks.

The goal is linking people who need extra food with underused food pantries in their neighborhoods.

Jeff Grennell, director of the Southside Community Ministries Food Pantry in Columbus, tells the Columbus Dispatch for a story Monday that people in Franklin County go hungry for no need because they don't know where to turn for help.

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.

A cut to food assistance goes into effect across the country today, Nov. 1. The end of federal stimulus funds will affect close to 2 million people in Ohio who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for food.

After the economy crashed, the 2009 Recovery Act propped up food assistance with  billions in additional funds. That money expired on Halloween, which means reduced benefits for almost all SNAP recipients.

Leslie Bates of Greene County Job and Family Services says the average cut in Greene County is $26 per family.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

Legislators have been hashing out the future of food stamps in Washington this week. But here in Ohio, changes to food assistance, also called SNAP, are coming down the pike regardless. Work requirements will go into effect Oct. 1 for 134,000 Ohioans who depend on food stamps.

Karen Kasler

Food pantries around the state say they’re seeing unprecedented numbers of senior citizens needing help. Activists from across the state met for a summit on dealing with hunger among seniors today. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks says many seniors aren’t able to take care of their nutrition needs, which she says will cost Medicare and other programs in the long run.