The oldest African American Church has started a community conversation about starting a food co-op, or community owned grocery store in Warren.

They invited residents and community leaders to Grace African Methodist Epsicopal Church to gauge interest in building and operating a community owned grocery store to help bring fresh foods to folks in Warren.

"We know collectively if we work together we can do our part in solving this issue of food insecurity," Pastor Shane Floyd said.

The founder and president of Gem City Market in Dayton explained how folks came together in five years to open their own Food Co-op grocery store.

At that time Dayton ranked second in the nation for food insecurity.

"With a Co-Op it's one member and one share. It gives you the ability to vote, run for the board to steer and shape the direction of the market. Sometimes you can get member discounts and things like that. I think it's part of being the solution," Amaha Sellassie, Founder and Board President of Gem City Market said. 

Surveys were handed out to determine if this is something folks in Warren want to pursue. 

Church leaders tell us a study will be done and decisions will be data driven. 

State Senator Nick Santucci and Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, along with some city council members are on board.

The founder of Gem City Market emphasized changes in your environment can come from within your community.

"I think the key thing is community support and knowing we can provide solutions to our own problems," Sellassie emphasized.