Big Tex Urban Farms, a signature program of the State Fair of Texas, donated one million servings of fresh produce to the local community. Since the goal was announced in 2018, the Fair has made that goal a reality in less than four years. They have donated 1,000,000 produce servings to the South Dallas community for their neighbors in need.
Big Tex Urban Farms has grown substantially since its humble beginnings in 2016. When it first started, it consisted of 100 raised planter boxes in a parking lot near the State Fair of Texas’ administration building. They would give out food at a local farmers’ market on Fridays. Now, it encompasses the entire Errol McKoy Greenhouse on the State Fair of Texas Midway in Fair Park. It’s here where the Farms’ revolutionary mobile hydroponic agriculture systems, including a Nutrient Film Technique system (NFT), grow racks, and a gutter slab system, grow everything from arugula, cucumbers, kohlrabi, micro-greens, peppers, soy, tomatoes, and zucchini.
As part of the State Fair of Texas’ efforts to give back to South Dallas, all the food produced by Big Tex Urban Farms is donated to organizations serving the surrounding communities. They include Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Community Center, Bonton Farms, CitySquare, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Faith Cumberland Presbyterian Church, FJV Foundation, Jubilee Park Community Center, Oak Cliff Veggie Project, Parkland Hospital, POETIC, The Bridge, and TR Hoover Community Development Corporation.
The organizations collect and distribute the produce grown by Big Tex Urban Farms. Many of these neighborhoods are designated by the USDA as areas with limited access to fresh food. Food deserts are low-income areas with limited access to personal vehicles or public transit and no grocery stores within a mile.
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