Several members of the Houston Dynamo FC and Houston Dash organization spent the morning of Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering with A Recipe for Success at Hope Farms, an organization that aims to eliminate food insecurity and provide fresh and healthy food to underserved communities that are considered food deserts.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Civil Rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner who worked to put an end to racial injustice and segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King emphasized that service to one another would help everyone achieve the collective mission to making the world a equal and just place for everyone. In 1983, MLK Day was established in honor of Dr. King’s legacy and is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
Dash defender Megan Montefusco (formerly Oyster) said she was thankful to spend her morning with several other volunteers on MLK Day.
“It’s great to see not only Dash players and staff out here but also out here for the same purpose. Which is to make the community better, and also honor Martin Luther King, who left an incredible legacy of service and advocating for injustices,” Montefusco said.
From learning about Dr. King’s legacy of service to putting those teaching into action, Dash goalkeeper Lindsey Harris said she’s grateful for the opportunity to serve the Houston community.
“It’s nice to learn more about MLK Day and what this organization is developing at Hope Farms,” Harris said. “It’s been good to be out here working bright and early.”
Located near Houston Sports Park and the Sunnyside neighborhood in southeast Houston, Hope Farms grows fresh, affordable produce in the midst of a Houston “food desert” while training and providing small-business incubation, co-op services and workforce readiness for U.S. Veterans and others, preparing them to be urban agri-preneurs.
The seven-acre farm is also a healthy gathering place, offering regular cooking and gardening classes for children and adults, weekly produce deliveries to subscribers, weekly onsite markets, pop-up produce markets in the community and public events that celebrate local food and the power of shared meals to build community.
Dash midfielder Shea Groom said spending the morning working at Hope Farms is a helpful reminder of all the hard work and care that goes into growing vegetables. Groom said she also believes that organizations like Hope Farms are crucial to the Houston community.
Gracie Cavnar, Chairman & CEO of Recipe for Success and Hope Farms, said having a few players and staff from the Houston Dash and Dynamo volunteer to help them with their mission motivates them to keep fighting to end food insecurity and racial inequities while also helping the community gain access to healthy food options.
"As avid fans, it was a thrill to have the Houston Dash and Dynamo organization out to Hope Farms for our MLK Day of Service, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all that he stood for. For those of us who work every day in the space of addressing racial inequities—like access to affordable healthy food, it fills our hearts and reenergizes us to know that others share our view of its importance,” Cavnar said. “Having some of our favorite players on site added a fun note of celebrity for our team and other volunteers, but it was most important to learn that they were with us because of a shared passion for our work to teach, empower and inspire healthy eating. We look forward to having them back soon."