Investing in the soil yields healthy plants;
Investing in the soul yields healthy people.
What is Bonton?
For the last 200 years, racial injustice and systemic oppression prevented opportunities in Bonton that were a given elsewhere. The people here experienced higher rates of diabetes, stroke and cancer, and 48% of residents lived in poverty. Residents have been denied access to the seven human essentials that are necessary to survive and thrive - health and wellness, economic stability, safe and affordable housing, transportation, a sense of belonging, education and access to fair credit. Today, the community is transforming, and healing is coming from within.
Who We Are
What started out as a garden in a small lot has grown to two fully functioning farms, a Farmer’s Market, a Café and Coffee House. We continue to grow organic food and hope for a better tomorrow right in the Bonton community, but we are addressing more of the barriers residents are up against so they can access all seven human essentials. Working alongside residents to transform the community, we support our neighbors in redefining the norm in their community so they may have a fighting chance at life.
More than a Farm
Just like a seed, we know that every human being has the potential to live a healthy, prosperous life if they have the right nutrients and support. Before we were established, access to healthy food in Bonton was non-existent. Because of that, the cardiovascular disease rate here is 54% higher than the rest of Dallas, and the rate for diabetes is 45% higher and 58% higher for cancer -- so we knew we had our work cut out for us. We realized you can give someone all the fresh produce in the world, but it won’t make a difference if they don't know what to do with it. That’s why we’ve created nutrition programs that provide our residents with:
- Nutritional counseling
- Cooking classes
- General health and wellness guidance
We work to help struggling residents climb the socioeconomic ladder and find a clear path to homeownership. Like sun, soil and water are to seeds, safe housing and stable employment are to human beings. When we realized housing stability was getting in the way of some of our employees’ success, we started a housing program to help them keep a roof over their heads. We found that Bonton residents are 82% more likely to stay employed when they have access to stable housing. As part of this effort, we’ve launched initiatives that include:
- A rent-to-own housing program
- Partnerships with other nonprofits to address the lack of affordable housing crisis in Bonton
- Financial education about the dangers of high-interest loans
We know that being self-sufficient instills a sense of pride that only perpetuates healthy habits. That’s why we're arming our residents with the skills they need to live more prosperous lives, which benefits all of Bonton. We employ residents and help local entrepreneurs launch small businesses by:
- Mentoring and guiding them in their career advancement
- Assisting residents with personal finance management
- Providing general work preparedness advice and guidance
Education is key to cultivating an upwardly mobile life, and a lack of access to that holds back many of our residents. In Bonton, 85% of the men have been to prison, and more than half of the residents don’t have a high school diploma. We’re working to uplift our residents with new initiatives focused on educating our youth and re-educating our adults. We have many programs in the works, but our core areas of focus are:
- The establishment of a charter school
- Basic job skills training for adults
- Advising parents on the importance of being engaged in their children’s education
Join Friends of Bonton Farms.
We’re changing the way we all think about community by connecting Bonton to Dallas and beyond. Join us and get a special thank-you gift and invitations to special member events.