DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A community group with a mission to bring fresh food to a West Dayton neighborhood received support from the City of Dayton Wednesday.
Dayton City Commission awarded the Greater Edgemont Community Coalition (GECC) $85,000 to grow their solar garden during their meeting Wednesday night.
“As we resurrect Edgemont, we figured food would be the first thing we tackle,” GECC Executive Director Stephen Ross said.
GECC’s solar garden provides fresh vegetables year-round. As they grow food, they teach their neighbors how to make healthy choices.
“This committed group of people you see around here has been tenacious in ensuring that number one, they don’t fall off the city’s radar, and two, ensuring that our elected officials understand the need,” Dayton Supervisor of Economic Development Veronica Morris said.
The money comes from the West Dayton Development Trust Fund. A percentage of the tipping fees through the city’s waste management goes back to the city to fund improvements in southwest Dayton, which is the area most affected by the landfill.
“Strong neighborhood associations make for strong neighborhoods, and it’s true and this is evidence of just that,” Dayton City Commissioner Christopher Shaw said. “It’s putting money back into the community, back into the neighborhoods, in order to strengthen those neighborhoods.”
GECC will use the funding to make improvements to the interior and exterior of their buildings.
“Now we can expand out efforts in the community with gardens, backyard gardens, neighborhood gardens, where people come out and work a lot on their block and get to know each other,” Ross said.
GECC and neighborhood are thankful the City of Dayton will help their vision grow.
“It’s not just about what we’re doing here right now at the Edgemont solar garden, it’s about the entire community making it a place where everyone wants to live, work and play,” Miami Valley Urban League Executive Director Nikole Miller said.
The GECC also has an urban farming program through Central State, which teaches how to grow food and how to sell it.