Anyone and everyone who is into food is used to hearing the value in local produce: it tastes better, it's better for the environment, it supports the local economy, etc.
And hey, that sounds great. We like all of those things.
While buying from a local farmer is definitely a step in the right direction, that conversation is usually directed at those with some spending power, those who have a choice between Whole Foods, Publix, and a local farmers market -- that group does not include large segments of the population.
Florida Institute of Technology student Adrian Devezin (20) and his board of directors (two fellow students at the university) with the Dreamers Corp want to change that. The group hopes to change the world, one community garden at a time, starting with Florida.
Officially launching their non-profit in February of this year, the organization is attempting to target specific areas that need help by starting community gardens. They are currently trying to gain a plot of land owned by Florida Institute of Technology that borders a highly trafficked residential area.
"We want to change things," says Devezin, the executive director of Dreamers Corp. "People are still struggling, still in need of help."
With the gardens as their first initiative, the Dreamers want to bring communities together by helping to combat the steep prices of wholesome food. Using environmentally friendly growing techniques, they would like to provide open access to crops, such as tomatoes, potatoes, corn, peas, and kale.
"Before we started, we thought it was a good idea," says Devezin. "Then we started looking at the stats on how community gardens impact neighborhoods and we were shocked. They actually reduce crime rates in addition to decreasing food scarcity and encouraging kids to get outside to play."
While the team, comprised of Devezin, Tara Pam (20), and John Allen (21), are starting off with Melbourne, they hope to spread their work throughout the state of Florida and possibly the world.
"Our long term goal is to get everyone independent," says Devezin. "We'd like to buy land in countries around the world to help unemployment by feeding, teaching, and training people for steady jobs."
Although they still have a ways to go before their dreams become a reality, the team has been gaining community support in the Melbourne area. Individuals and businesses have been offering seeds and plants, but they want to sign off on a piece of land before moving forward. Right now, their immediate aim is to spread the word about their project.
"Each of us has travelled to countries all over the world," says Devezin. "So we've all seen different standards of living. In Italy, people don't have much in some parts, but they eat very well. People are outside, bonding, with a sense of community. We want to see that sense of love and family here."
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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