Dayton Children’s donates $50,000 for Gem City Market

The Gem City Market will be built on the 300 and 400 block of Salem Ave., bringing a full-service grocery store to one of the largest food deserts in the state. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
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The Gem City Market will be built on the 300 and 400 block of Salem Ave., bringing a full-service grocery store to one of the largest food deserts in the state. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Gem City Market, a long-planned Dayton grocery co-op, received a boost when Dayton Children’s Hospital donated $50,000.

Dayton Children’s said in a press release that along with donating $50,000 toward Gem City Market’s capital campaign, the pediatric hospital also has a long-term plan to work with the grocery store on child and family-friendly programming “so those shopping at the market not only have access to healthy food but know how to prepare and enjoy it.”

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The grocery store is planned to be built along the 400 block of Salem Avenue, with the goal of bringing fresh and healthy food to what is now a food desert.

Organizers have fundraising for the $4.2 million project and selling membership shares for the co-op.

Dayton Children’s hosted a Kid’s Cook-off Challenge on Friday to kick off their partnership, where Dayton children at the event got a basket of surprise ingredients to come up with a dish.

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This challenge is to show how easy it is to inspire children to eat healthy when they have the right ingredients, according to the press release.

Dayton Children’s said some of its other healthy food initiatives include when it stopped selling sugar-sweetened drinks in the cafeteria in 2014, and its plans for a “food pharmacy” to serve families in the hospital’s new Center for Community Health and Advocacy, which is under construction at the main campus and will open this spring.