Opportunity Details

Civic & Community
Families, Low-income communities

Age Minimum (with Adult):5+, Minimum Age:18+

Chamber Volunteer Day 2017 - Thrive in Opa-Locka: Urban Farm Build Day

The volunteer project is part of a larger, strategic initiative to activate downtown Opa-locka with a community campus (THRIVE Campus) that supports arts & culture, technology & education, health & wellness, and economic development & entrepreneurship. Volunteers will help transform two vacant lots by preparing some of the campus' outdoor resources: an urban farm and small community area. These resources are much needed in Opa-locka, which, like many majority minority communities with high poverty and low education or economic attainment, is a food desert with two discount grocery stores to serve its 16,000 residents, but many more fast food joints, corner stores, gas stations, and walk-up counters to grab pre-packed, highly processed foods. Until there are accessible and affordable alternatives, the cycle of bad eating habits and correlated health problems will continue for future generations. 

The need and desire for local agriculture and healthy affordable food opportunities in the community is great. The proposed volunteer project will start to address this by building an urban farm (preparing the yard, building and painting planter beds, planting seeds, etc.) and additional amenities (picnic tables, benches for an outdoor classroom, etc.) that the community will help maintain and learn from. Our hope is that volunteers will be able to work alongside residents and students from nearby schools to accomplish this, adding more meaningful interaction between Chamber volunteers and the community stakeholders. 

Once built, the urban farm will be provide a hands-on, experiential platform for nutrition and health education, healthy food preparation and eating, small food businesses and more for Opa-locka and nearby residents. OLCDC is working to create workshops for community members to learn about these aspects in addition to managing or volunteering on the farm.
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