Two announcements this week could help dry up the food desert in South Dallas.
On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council voted to give Bonton Farms a $100,000 grant to help its planned market and cafe. Earlier this week, word came that Good Local Markets is moving into the area with a location at Paul Quinn College.
Both announcements are important for South Dallas, which has been federally recognized as a food desert — meaning that the nearest grocery store is at least a mile away.
South Dallas is considered a food desert, and these projects are aimed at making access to healthy food easier.
The grant to Bonton Farms is enough to fund the final third of what is needed to build its 3,000-square-foot facility, according to the public radio station KERA. Bonton Farms won $25,000 from United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ “OneUp the Pitch” event in April, which founder Daron Babcock said would be used for fixtures and equipment for the market.
Babcock started Bonton Farms as a community garden that now has blossomed into a full farm on two donated lots between U.S. 175 and the Trinity, as well as a couple dozen acres 10 minutes away.
Plans to build the neighborhood market and cafe to provide jobs, food, and health and wellness programs were announced earlier this year.
At Paul Quinn College, the market launches today and will be held every Thursday from 3-7 p.m. in the parking lot next to the basketball courts and soccer field, adjacent to the college’s east entrance.
Vendors will be selling locally grown vegetables and other produce, baked good, honey, eggs, and other items.
The market is near the We Over Me Farm, the college’s former football field, that has been converted into a farm.
Good Local Markets founder Sarah Perry approached Paul Quinn officials about the collaboration, which is intended to increase food access to the neighborhood surrounding the college.