The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo announced that the Gem City Market is the winner of the 2018 CommunityWINS (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant for medium-sized cities.
The $150,000 grant award supports nonprofit organizations that promote long-term economic stability and quality of life in their communities. Mayor Nan Whaley accepted the award on behalf of the Greater Dayton Union Cooperative Initiative, the organization supporting the market, in Boston at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 86th Annual Meeting.
"We are thrilled that Gem City Market was selected by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo for this award," said Mayor Whaley. "The market will be an important asset for northwest Dayton, ensuring that residents have access to healthy food and other critical service. Their innovative model of community ownership will make sure that Dayton residents benefit from the market's success."
When it opens, Gem City Market will be a full-service, cooperatively-owned grocery store providing healthy food choices in the heart of a large food desert on Dayton's west side. The store will be owned by its workers and by community members that purchase shares--including some sold at discounted rates for low-income residents--which will keep the wealth generated by the market within the community. Gem City Market is aiming to raise $4.2 million through a capital campaign and membership shares before it opens its doors in 2019, nearly half of which is already committed.
"The Gem City Market team is so honored to receive this award, and is especially grateful to Mayor Whaley for championing this project with her peer mayors," said Lela Klein, the Executive Director of GDUCI and a board member of the Gem City Market. "We hope that once we are successful, our work in Dayton can be a model for other cities struggling with food deserts. It is so exciting to get this national recognition."
For more information about Gem City Market, visit gemcitymarket.com. For more information about the U.S. Conference of Mayors CommunityWINS program, visit usmayors.org/communitywins/.