Dayton ‘food desert’ concerns continue to grow

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Amid widespread concern about parts of Dayton becoming food deserts, local community groups are coming together to try and find a solution.

West third street’s Aldi grocery store announced, three weeks ago, it’s shutting its doors – for good. Local shoppers said they’re now going to have to go out of town for groceries.

In the east, the Food For Less grocery store burned down. Residents there said it was one of the only groceries store in the area.

Senior pastor at Zion Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Rockney Carter said food deserts are becoming a big concern.

“You wouldn’t think that it would be, but as we enter 2018, we find that a number of urban areas are suffering from almost food drought,” Carter said.

Community groups in West Dayton will meet tonight to renew the conversation on food sustainability.

Former mayor of Dayton Richard Clay Dixon said the goal is to try and find a sustainable food plan for a communities that are losing access to grocery stores.

He now works with the Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative.

“The issue is much broader than the closing of Aldi,” Dixon said. “It’s about us coming together to develop a sustainable food plan for west Dayton… We can’t react every time there’s a store closing we have to sustain a food base right here in our community.”

The meeting will take place Tuesday night at Mount Enon Baptist Church.

It’s sponsored by the Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative; the Innerwest, Southwest, and Northwest Priority Boards; The Wesley Center; Homefull; The Residence Park Neighborhood Association; Saint Paul AME Zion Church; The Hall Hunger Initiative; Gem City Market; and Parity Inc.