What is a food desert?


Bonton, the community that we are located in, is classified as a “food desert.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a food desert as a low-income urban area where residents have to travel further than a mile to access fresh food.[1] Not only do most food deserts have no access to a grocery store, their only options are fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few options for healthy, affordable food. With no healthy choices, junk foods like fried goods, sweets, and sodas are the norm for people living inside a food desert. food desert

Naturally, food deserts only accentuate diet-related disease and sickness. South Dallas, where Bonton is located, has the highest rates of preventable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in all of Dallas County.[2] It was this fact that led Daron Babcock, Director of Urban Missions for BridgeBuilders, to partner with community members to begin a micro-urban farm, which became the genesis for what is today Bonton Farms.

What began as an act of defiance is now a full-fledged urban farm spanning 10 neighborhood lots, growing hope through agricultural intervention in the heart of South Dallas. Sandwiched between a new government housing development and the Great Trinity Forest, Bonton Farms is seeking to be the answer to a community that is seeking a better way to live. And with half an acre of organic produce springing up and another half-acre of animal husbandry filled with free-range chickens and turkeys, milking goats, and thousands of honeybees, Bonton Farms is well on its way to becoming the best option for healthy, affordable food in South Dallas.

Today, we are proud to share with you a new vision to expand Bonton Farms. There are currently 40 areas in South Dallas that are classified as food deserts. We are ambitiously praying for doors to open in these communities for us to plant urban mission teams and start micro-farms capable of offering healthy food choices for our neighbors.

With that new vision, we have launched a new opportunity to support the mission, the Friends of Bonton Farms. Friends of Bonton Farms is an opportunity for you to support this mission through monthly support of the Farm. Through your gift we will be able to continue to expand the current farm, disciple more people, and move into new areas of our South Dallas communities. Interested in joining us? Visit the Friends of Bonton Farms page for more info. friends3

  1. “Food Deserts.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved October 16, 2015.  ↩
  2. “Community Health Assessment: South Dallas Service Area.” Parkland. Retrieved Ocotober 16, 2015.  ↩