4DWN Skatepark and Harvest Project Food Rescue Are Throwing a Community Bash
Wednesday afternoons and well into the evening, a gritty parking lot off Ferris and Orleans Streets in South Dallas becomes a temporary food distribution center. From around 4 p.m. until well after sunset, volunteers get to work.
They transport tons of products that were previously destined for landfill from trucks, free them from pallets and sort carton by carton of fruit and vegetables – unripe tomatoes, overripe berries, perfectly good, if a little too sweaty, heads of lettuce. Anything they wouldn’t eat themselves is stacked in compost bins that are used on the local farms. Everything else is divided into boxes – containers with bounties that are loaded into the trunk of the car a few hours later.
This is the scene at the 4DWN Skatepark where the Harvest Project Food Rescue organizes food distribution for those affected by food insecurity.
“Skaters have always rebelled, and in today’s world it’s rebellious to be decent, to do decent,” said Rob Cahill, who founded 4DWN with ex-pro skateboarder Mike Crum. Volunteers, including many local skaters, organize fresh groceries in plastic boxes for families to take home. “It’s rebellious that we are doing this,” Cahill told me recently on a Wednesday night.
Fri, December 10th, 6pm – 9pm | 2633 Ferrisstrasse
This event is free for everyone.
Cahill also says he wants to continue building a community around volunteering. People can skate for a few hours and also volunteer for some while a live DJ keeps the energy going. He’s even in talks with DJ Sober to provide the tunes for the Wednesday evenings.
4DWN is part of the multi-org collective that includes The Food Justice Coalition. There is also the Harvest Project Food Project, the Oak Cliff Veggie Project (it runs food distribution and education programs for urban agriculture), Project La Familia, whose cook and founder Diana Zamora provides meals for the community and volunteers, and Restorative Farms. (You can volunteer here.)
Cahill and his cohort have been helping tackle food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic. But they plan to expand their impact.
To make such expansion efforts – and to rally the fellowship for the cause of nutritional justice –4DWN and Harvest Project are hosting a free community event open to the public on December 10th.
Held at 4DWN’s indoor / outdoor skate park on Ferris Street, the party will feature art by Ruben Afredo and live music courtesy of Cure For Paranoia. Pro skater Kareen Campbell and other as-yet-unnamed celebs will be in attendance.
Further details according to the press release:
“Open to the public, attendees will experience live music performed on the large 4DWN event stage overlooking quaint downtown Dallas and the breathtaking Dickies Verticle Ramp. Free food is served in the entrance garden and in the wall area of the venue. Large works of art installed in the indoor skate park’s art gallery are on display, with limited prints of the art available for purchase; Proceeds will benefit both non-profit organizations (4DWN and Harvest Project). “
The aforementioned Zamora, head chef at Harvest Project and Project La Familia, will serve plant-based “deconstructed cuisine” from some of the rescued products.