Food Equity Plan to address major hunger problem

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — It was packed house Wednesday morning with about 350 people at Sinclair Community College for the 9th Annual Food Summit.

This year, leaders presented the first action plan to tackle Montgomery County’s hunger problem.

The Food Equity Plan is a collaborative effort of local agencies and community groups.

“Food availability is a public health crisis within Montgomery County,” stresses Public Health Commissioner, Jeff Cooper.

The numbers tell part of the story.

  • 17% are food insecure.
  • 30% of children eat less than one serving of fruits and one serving of vegetables per day.
  • 15% of our landfill is food.
  • 70,000 people are on food stamps.
  • 19% of our census tracts are considered food deserts.

The Food Equity Coalition was formed to change those statistics.

“We’re going to have to start thinking outside the box. You know? The grocery stores — it’s all about money,” states Montgomery County Commissioner, Judy Dodge.

Harrison Township and Trotwood are among the cities where grocery stores have closed their doors. With the Food Equity Plan, leaders brainstorm solutions to help those most vulnerable — solutions involving growing healthy options and a mobile food truck traveling to areas without a grocery store.

“We have the largest food desert right here in Dayton, Ohio east of the Mississippi,” says Former U.S. Ambassador, Tony Hall.

Leaders recognize the change won’t happen overnight and will take time and effort.

“This is a group that’s going to take advantage of every little thing we can do to try to get food out to folks while we’re waiting for the federal and state governments to wake up,” says Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph.

“This is that start of us becoming a hunger-free community,” says Hall.

The Plan was unveiled in conjunction with National Hunger and Homelessness Week, which runs Nov. 17-23.

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