Popular Dallas Community Farm Hopes to Open Market

There is a possible grocery game changer coming to one food desert in Dallas.

For years, Bonton Farms has provided healthy food to a community hungry for real nutrition. Now they are hoping to expand their efforts.

The non-profit farm in the Bonton community hopes to open a market and café to offer fresh food options to residents. The market would also offer cooking classes and health screenings.

"I just can't sit back and watch people suffer like that when it is unnecessary," founder Daron Babcock said. "We can solve this problem."

Babcock said bringing food choice to the community is literally a matter of life and death.

"In our community we have double the rate of cancer, double the rate of stroke, double the rate of heart disease [and] double the childhood obesity than the county we are in," he said. "We hope to be a part of the solution that starts to change that."

The city of Dallas tried offering $3 million to a large grocery store chain that would open in the area. No store cashed in, so Bonton Farms stepped up even more.

"We've got our work cut out for us," Babcock said.

Now, the farm is in line for a $100,000 grant, if the Dallas City Council approves it. That money would be used to finish the vision for their market and café.

"There's 40 food deserts in on our city. We have, in Dallas, the highest childhood poverty rate in the nation," Babcock said.

All the community help is not relegated to the gardens, but it is also seen in the staff.

"Three years ago I was a hot mess," Patrick Wright said. "My life was torn up."

Bonton Farm gave Wright a second chance, and in doing so helped him give back to his community.

"It's grace at its finest. I never thought I'd see the day people cared about this community," he said.

The Dallas City Council is set to vote on the grant next week. Bonton Farms hope to have the market finished and operational in the next six months.

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