HHI works with our community partners to create a sustainable and just food system in the Miami Valley.


Our mission is dedicated to changing the system that allows hunger to hurt our community. Our mission is to bring solutions to our food deserts and local hunger challenges.

We were founded by Ambassador Tony Hall in 2015 with the generous support of the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation and in partnership with United Way of Greater Dayton Area.


Hunger in our community is REAL. In Montgomery County, 93,210 people struggle with food insecurity, 26,350 of them are children. That is almost 1 out of every five people.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. More than 50,000 people live in food deserts, areas where it’s almost impossible to buy healthy, nutritious food. As a result, people suffer from high rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses connected to diet. We lose 11,000 years of life due to preventable diseases and lack of healthy food is a deadly contributor. These are some of the worst numbers in Ohio.


Food insecurity does not exist in a vacuum. It is the result of decades of policies, neglect, societal change, and a lack of knowledge. Furthermore, we believe to really end hunger:

  • The entire community must work together and the entire community must benefit.
  • We need to make deep, meaningful, and systemic changes to address the causes of hunger.
  • Everyone needs to have access to healthy, culturally appropriate food, which will build a healthier and stronger community.


ELEVATE THE ISSUE – The HHI team is always in the community elevating the issue of Dayton’s food crisis with speaking engagements, workshops, and community engagement events. HHI staff and VISTA members initiate conversations about the root causes of hunger and poverty by conducting Racial Wealth Gap simulations. As a result, this creates a deeper understanding of why a rich nation still faces massive hunger issues.

BRING PEOPLE TO THE TABLE – We connect those already doing the work with each other. Similarly, we link them with the resources that already exist in the community. We are able to bring evidence-based practices to the conversations because of our connections with the local and national food and hunger experts. Additionally, the collaboration and coordination work often allows us to identify gaps in our collective response to food inequity.

BUILD CAPACITY – When gaps are identified, we provide strategic capacity-building support. HHI’s largest support project is also the community’s most significant food access effort, Gem City Market. Currently, HHI is assisting with the $4.5 million capital campaign and the grassroots and membership engagement. We are involved in the health planning, governance, site pre-development, policy, and design of the market as well.

COORDINATE STRATEGICALLY – If we really want to move towards a hunger-free community, we must drive systematic change. We are excited to participate in creating a local food equity plan driven by Public Health of Dayton and Montgomery County with other key partners. This plan will focus on a variety of strategies to achieve overall community food security. HHI also serves as a co-strategic coordinator for two major United Way of the Greater Dayton Area and Montgomery County funded food access collective impact projects.

In our mission and in all aspects of our work, the Hall Hunger Initiative seeks to support our partners so together we can create a just food system that will benefit everyone in the community.

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