Making A Difference

Project Dream Fridge Fights to End Hunger in Chicago Food Deserts

A Navy veteran has a mission to help his Chicago neighbors with fresh fruits and vegetables. It started with a community refrigerator, and now he’s adding free deliveries.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Every weekday morning since mid-September, Dion Dawson has stocked his Dream Fridge with fresh fruit, veggies and bottled water. And his mom is there to help.

“I’m out here every day,” said Connie Strickland. "I work the night shift, and when I get off I come here to the Dream Fridge.”

The Dream Fridge sits right near the corner of 57th and Racine. People can stop by and take anything they want.

"I think it’s a great thing they are doing for the neighborhood,” said resident Priscilla Lesure. 

Dawson started Project Dream Fridge as a way to combat Englewood's food desert status. Beginning Friday, he’s adding a weekly free delivery service.

“Dream Deliveries is our way of getting to the people who have been afflicted by the pandemic and who can’t get out we are going directly to their homes," Dawson said.

So far he has enough funding to deliver to 30 families a week. 

“We’ve been canvassing the last two months. We went door to door and we talked to them about the program, to see if they would be interested,” said Dawson. “Now we have well over 100 families who are currently on the list and waiting as the funding increases.”

While they were out canvassing, Dawson said the reality of food insecurity set in.

"There were multiple households in Englewood who didn’t have food at that moment. We looked up and found our team giving whatever cash we had, going to the store, coming back after we canvassed to give them groceries.”

Dawson’s goal is to get fresh produce to as many Englewood residents who need it.

“It’s about being a staple. It’s about being something in the community that grows and blossoms with it."

Click here if you would like to donate to Dawson's Chicago Dream

Contact Us