Wednesday, May 5, 2010
PepsiCo and Paul Quinn College plant urban farm on school’s former football field
Farm will emphasize sustainable growing practices, stewardship, and community engagement.
PepsiCo and Paul Quinn College today inaugurate the PepsiCo Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College with the farm's first planting. The urban farm, located on the school's former football field, will be a fully operational farm that emphasizes sustainable growing practices, stewardship, and community engagement. Paul Quinn College is developing an innovative curriculum that will integrate the farm into its academic program, teaching principles not only of biology and botany, but also of social enterprise. PepsiCo is working with the college's students and staff to develop farm-related businesses that will serve the surrounding Highland Hills and South Dallas communities, as well as local chefs and restaurants.
Paul Quinn will eventually develop a new curriculum and degree under Social Entrepreneurship, which will teach students how to use entrepreneurial principals to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Students will work together to cultivate, weed, plant, harvest, and sell the fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Using the Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College as a hands-on teaching tool, students will gain a broad range of experiences from observation and decision-making to physical fitness, culinary appreciation and business development. In addition to regular farm activities, students will gain experience marketing produce to local restaurants and chefs and at a community market that will be established by the school to serve the college and the Highland Hills community, building customer service, and entrepreneurial skills.
"At PepsiCo, we believe that business can do good and do well at the same time. When you combine the passion of our people, the discipline of business, and a deep sense of purpose with the commitment and energy of a partner like Paul Quinn College, you have a recipe for real transformation," said Amy Chen, project manager, Food for Good initiative, PepsiCo. "We are so excited to work with Paul Quinn College to create a holistic business proposition that provides access to nutrition in an educational, transformative, and community-focused way."
Paul Quinn canceled its football program in 2006 as the administration sent a message to the community that real success occurs not just on the gridiron but in educational and entrepreneurial business endeavors. The former football field was the perfect site for the Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College.
"Part of Paul Quinn's mission is to prepare students to be servant leaders and agents of change in their communities. PepsiCo shares our vision of building minds and communities through innovative urban transformation and renewal," said Paul Quinn President Michael Sorrell. "But, we're transforming more than a football field. Our aim is to continually bring unique, academic, and cultural opportunities to our students and extend that knowledge, know-how, and value to the community where they live."
PepsiCo's Food for Good initiative was launched in Dallas in 2009 to help transform urban communities by increasing access to affordable nutrition and providing jobs and skills development through innovative community partnerships. Food for Good's first program was a mobile summer food service program in partnership with Central Dallas Ministries, which was piloted in summer 2009 and will be expanded this year. The farm is its second undertaking.
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