Englewood veteran starts Project Dream Fridge to feed community daily

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Navy veteran from Englewood is making finding new ways to serve his community through an effort he calls 'Project Dream Fridge.'

Dion Dawson served in the Navy for five years as a mass communications specialist. After returning home as a veteran, Dawson decided to extend his public service into a new outlet.

So Dawson founded Dion's Dream Fridge, a nonprofit built around the daily work of giving away free food every day.

"Project Dream Fridge is a community fridge that houses free fruits, vegetables and water every weekday for residents to come and get," Dawson said.

The fridge sits at the corner of Racine and 57th Street, and Dawson fills it at around 9 A.M. By noon every day, the fridge is empty.

Dawson paid for all the produce out of pocket for the first several months, but has started shifting toward donations as he sets his sights on bigger goals for the nonprofit.

"I just got a GoFundMe started so we can get the Dream Center built," Dawson said.

The Dream Center of Englewood is being planned as a community space to provide centralized resources on a broader scale. For now, though, the fridge on Racine remains the core of Dawson's work, which he fills every day alongside his mom.

"It started as something to make (my mom) proud, and now it's just something we're doing together," Dawson said.

Dawson is documenting his work across social media platforms and has no plans of slowing down in the winter. Follow along @DionsChicagoDream on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
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