DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made some stops in Dayton Friday, touring a vaccine clinic at Five Rivers Health Care Center and then heading to Gem City Market ahead of its grand opening May 12.
The visit came after Brown’s part in writing and planning the American Rescue Plan, which will give billions in federal funding towards growing vaccine production and distribution. Both Five Rivers center and Gem City Market will be recipients of funding from the plan.
While at the clinic, Brown took time touring its facilities, talking with both health care workers and people getting their vaccine. “The community already knows it. More and more elected officials see how important these incredibly qualified health centers are, especially those who do primary care,” said Brown.
To date, Five Rivers Health Care Center has provided more than 4,000 vaccines for people across the Miami Valley. After the clinic tour, Brown made his way over to Gem City Market, a community grocery store that’s about to open.
“There’s two different classes of ownership. There are 25 employees who work at this store, and they are majority owners of the store. So it’s a worker cooperative. Then it’s also a community cooperative, so there are over 4,000 people who have also contributed some equity to become member owners of the store,” said Lela Klein, a Gem City Market board member .
The market will feature fresh produce, a coffee shop, deli, along with cooking classes and a community center. “So we’re really excited about this because of what this is. This is a food desert. We’ve been talking about food deserts. This is a way for us to really take ownership of our community, because corporation’s won’t,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
People involved with the creation of Gem City Market hope the grocery store inspires others to open similar ones to meet the food need for people in the area.