Dallas South News Wire (Paul Quinn College)
The Real Estate Council’s Associate Leadership Council is partnering with Paul Quinn College to assist with the college’s vision of positively impacting the food desert crisis in the southern sector of Dallas.
Both groups have worked diligently on improvements of the Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College. A joint workday on the farm is scheduled for Saturday, February 18 at 9 a.m. Members of the media are invited for interviews and photo opportunities with representatives from The Real Estate Council Foundation and Paul Quinn College.
The partnership between The Real Estate Council Foundation and Paul Quinn College is a result of the desire of both groups to quell the food desert conditions in Dallas’ southern sector. A food desert is generally defined as any area with a high poverty rate and low access to affordable and healthy food.
There are no limited service stores, small independent grocers or discount grocery stores within the college’s zip code, and the nearest grocery store is approximately four miles from the campus. When coupled with the transportation issues faced by low-income neighborhoods, this results in significantly limited access to healthy food for the surrounding community.
“The Associate Leadership Council is proud to be helping Paul Quinn College improve the quality of life of those living in the community surrounding the college,” says Eric Gilbert, ALC Class Chairman. “The ALC feels that partnering with Paul Quinn College will help push this project from a grass roots effort to a more prominent, replicable and viable program for years to come.”
The ALC is constructing a greenhouse so the farm can harvest seeds from each season’s crop supply, leading to more abundant production and year-round growing. Paul Quinn College estimates that by adding the greenhouse, the farm can produce three times as much food and sell more produce to the surrounding community and local restaurants.
With funding from The Real Estate Council Foundation, the ALC will make upgrades to the irrigation system, allowing the farm to be less wasteful through the use of a drip-irrigation system that will eliminate hand watering. Renovation of the storage/point of sale structure will increase the efficiency of the structure and allow for refrigeration of the produce.
Safety enhancements also will be made to ensure worker safety and prolong the farm’s hours of operation. Reclaimed wood will be used to increase the number of planter boxes in use.
To date the Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College and the ALC have razed the bleachers on the east side of the farm, installed 12 new planter boxes, cleaned the storage unit, removed debris from the remaining bleacher structure, collected and disposed of more than a dozen garbage bags of trash from the woods adjacent to the farm, and laid compost and mulch to the orchard area on the farm. All of these improvements speak to the dedication both groups share in eliminating the food desert in the surrounding area.