Dion's Chicago Dream helps decrease food disparity in Englewood and beyond

ByYukare Nakayama WLS logo
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Englewood native and U.S Navy veteran helps food deserts with non-profit that provides fresh produce
U.S Navy veteran and Englewood native Dion Dawson, is helping decrease the food disparity gap with his non-profit called Dion's Chicago Dream.

CHICAGO, Ill. (WLS) -- A U.S Navy veteran and Englewood native is helping close the food disparity gap in his neighborhood with his non-profit called Dion's Chicago Dream. The goal is to provide fresh fruit and vegetables.

Every Friday, Dion Dawson, founder of Dion's Chicago Dream, delivers about 100 boxes filled with fresh fruit or vegetables to families in Englewood, West Englewood, Chatham, Evanston, Schiller Park, Melrose Park and Maywood.

"Dion's Chicago Dream is a non-profit based out of Englewood that focuses on fighting food insecurity, " said Dawson.

Dawson partnered with J.A.B. Produce to provide fresh and healthy options for families in those communities, delivering up to 800 lbs. of produce a week. Dawson calls them "Dream Deliveries."

The non-profit also began in the midst of the pandemic.

Prior to helping over a thousand families in Chicago, Dawson was a U.S Navy Communications Specialist and journalist for over five years. He said home was calling his name.

"When I was on deployment in the Red Sea and no one was around, my mind drifted back to Englewood and that just let me know that I wasn't done with it," he said.

Dawson said as a child who was raised by a single parent and was once homeless, finding nourishing food was a struggle. A struggle he doesn't want another child to go through.

"It's a big help because a lot of us don't have cars around here. A lot of people are unemployed, they don't have money," said Englewood resident Dorothy Thomas.

Aside from delivering fresh vegetables and fruits to households in need, the non-profit also stocks a community fridge with fresh produce throughout the week. The team that makes up the non-profit are all paid employees from the Englewood neighborhood.

Dawson said it takes a village to make a difference.

"At the end of the day It's about what good you can do," said Dawson.