4DWN Skatepark and Harvest Project Food Rescue Host Community Party


On Wednesday afternoon and late evening, a gravel parking lot off Ferris and Orleans streets in South Dallas becomes a temporary food distribution center. From around 4 p.m. until sunset, the volunteers get to work.

They move kilos of produce that were previously destined for landfill from trucks, freeing it from pallets and sorting crate after crate of fruit and veg – unripe tomatoes, overripe berries, perfectly good heads of lettuce, albeit one. a little too sweaty. Anything they wouldn’t eat on their own is stacked in compost bins, which will be used on local farms. Everything else is broken down into crates, bounty ships that will be loaded into car chests a few hours later.

This is the scene at 4DWN Skatepark where Harvest Project Food Rescue organizes food distribution for food insecure people.

“Skaters have always rebelled, and in today’s world to be decent, to do decent things is rebellious,” says Rob Cahill, who co-founded 4DWN with former pro skateboarder Mike Crum. Volunteers, including many local skaters, organize fresh food in plastic crates for families to take home. “It’s rebellious for us to do this,” Cahill told me one Wednesday night recently.

Cahill also says he wants to continue building a community around volunteering. People can skate for a few hours and volunteer for a few too, while being hosted by a live DJ. He’s even in talks with DJ Sober to come and provide the tunes for the Wednesday cast nights.

4DWN is part of the multi-organization collective that includes The Food Justice Coalition. Alongside them are the Harvest Project Food Project, Oak Cliff Veggie Project (it manages food distribution and education programs for urban agriculture), La Familia Project, whose chef and founder, Diana Zamora, provides meals to the community and volunteers, and Restorative farms. (You can register to volunteer here.)

Cahill and his cohort have been helping tackle food insecurity since the start of the pandemic. But they plan to expand their impact.

To accomplish such expansion efforts – and rally the community around the cause of food justice –4DWN and Harvest Project are hosting a free community event open to the public on December 10.

The party, which will take place at 4DWN’s indoor / outdoor skatepark on Ferris Street, will feature works by Ruben Afredo and live music courtesy of Cure For Paranoia. Professional skater Kareen Campbell and other as-yet-unknown celebrities will be in attendance.

More details in the press release:

“Open to the public, attendees will be able to listen to live music on the 4DWN event’s large stage overlooking scenic downtown Dallas and the breathtaking Dickies Verticle Ramp. Free food will be served in the site entrance garden and in the wall area. Large works of art installed in the indoor skatepark art gallery will be on display, with limited prints of art available for purchase; profits for the benefit of two non-profit organizations (4DWN and Harvest Project).

The aforementioned Zamora, executive chef of the Harvest Project and Project La Familia, will serve plant-based ‘deconstructed cuisine’ from some of the salvaged produce.


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