DALLAS -- In between two goal posts on an old football field are three acres of Paul Quinn College pride.
“It’s cool,” exclaimed senior Valette Reese. "It’s like ahh, this arugula! I grew this!”
Since its first planting season in 2010, the WE Over Me Farm has produced more than 20,000 pounds of food.
“Everybody talks about the food,” said Cecilia "CiCi” Soto, a junior who volunteers at the farm along with Reese.
Thursday night everybody, including students, volunteers, and community guests, will get a taste of these college-cultivated crops. The same students who run the organic farm are hosting its yearly fundraiser called “A Community Cooks."
"We are having 12 chefs from the Dallas-Fort Worth area that are going to be coming here. They’re going to be cooking around the farm,” said Soto.
Nearly 500 people, the most ever, will dine at tables set up on the same soil where the vegetables, herbs and spices were harvested for the meals on their plates. There will also be live music and dancing.
Some of the featured chefs include Tonne Khabir (Classic Cup Cafe); Patrick Stark (Sundown at Granada); Eric Shelton (Kitchen LTO); Chad Houser (Cafe Momentum); and Orazio La Manna (Legends at AT&T Stadium, Home of the Dallas Cowboys).
The money raised helps maintain the farm. It also goes to education programs encouraging healthy eating on campus and in parts of South Dallas that are a federally-recognized food desert.
“We have to rely on what's in the community and we don't have that. So we're eating the fast food. We're eating the junk food,” said Reese. “We're eating a lot of things that don’t help our bodies and keep us healthy.”
“You get a new perspective on how to be a healthier person by picking your own food,” Soto said.
Fresh produce is donated to charities and sold to local restaurants and grocers. Reese said it reminds people that Paul Quinn College students are a part of the community where they attend classes.
“The response has been great, just seeing community people want to come up and come volunteer on the farm," she said.
On the farm they're not just raising crops, they're raising the bar for healthier living.
“A Community Cooks” begins at 6 p.m. Tickets were pre-sold at $75 a piece. A few tickets may still be available at the event.
Paul Quinn College is located at 3837 Simpson Stuart Road in Dallas.