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Support Local Community Access To Fresh Produce: Invitation Homes Restores Garden Beds For The Dania Beach Community

May 24, 2024

Today, People’s Access To Community Horticulture (the PATCH), a project spearheaded by the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), will receive a donation from Invitation Homes, the nation’s premier single-family home leasing and management company. The donation will fund 48 new raised beds and an additional row of concrete blocks to improve the existing 18 beds in the PATCH. The donation will be accepted on behalf of the PATCH by Bianca Bacarossi, Lead Farm Coordinator; Jaime Castoro, Executive Director of The Fruitful Field; K. Michael Chen, Executive Director of the CRA, and the CRA Board.

The PATCH is proud to be the largest community garden in Broward County and is an important source of affordable, accessible, and sustainable fresh and locally grown produce for Dania Beach residents. After a flash flood in April 2023, the PATCH gardens were destroyed, leaving the community without a vital source of produce. Invitation Homes’ donation will provide the infrastructure needed to restore PATCH as a fresh food grower.

“The Dania Beach CRA and our market/community garden ‘The PATCH’ (Peoples Access to Community Horticulture) are deeply grateful for the generous contribution from Invitation Homes and their commitment to our city. This will have an immediate impact, and we look forward to a long-lasting partnership dedicated toward Dania Beach’s thriving community,” said Mayor A. J. Ryan IV of Dania Beach.

The PATCH values community engagement that empowers accessible, holistic growth. All PATCH non-GMO, organic produce is provided at substantially lower prices than supermarkets with a 50% discount for EBT/SNAP participants, and surplus produce is donated to low-income and assisted care institutions. The PATCH also serves as a gathering place for families and school groups to teach gardening skills and the importance of fresh vegetables. Across the county, the PATCH conducts mobile outreach, including cooking demonstrations, in collaboration with YMCAs, Parks and Recreation departments, and other cities’ CRAs.

“Invitation Homes is thrilled to support the PATCH and its mission to serve the greater Dania Beach community,” said Randy Gray, Senior Vice President of Southeast Field Operations. “This donation will help provide fresh and accessible produce to the community and ensure that residents can continue to garden, spend time outdoors, and connect with one another.”

The project will be completed over the summer and will maintain the garden at its current location. The donation will also cover the cost of an expanded irrigation system, limestone drain bed, and compost for planters.

The PATCH Garden
The objectives of the PATCH are to provide fresh and healthy food options and to serve as a family social center in the community. As part of its mandate to remove blighted conditions associated with the city, The Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency transformed a vacant lot into what is now called People’s Access To Community Horticulture (PATCH). The PATCH provides a source of affordable, accessible, and sustainably fresh, locally grown produce to economically challenged neighborhoods across Broward County.

Invitation Homes
Invitation Homes, an S&P 500 company, is the nation's premier single-family home leasing and management company, meeting changing lifestyle demands by providing access to high-quality, updated homes with valued features such as close proximity to jobs and access to good schools. Invitation Homes’ mission, "Together with you, we make a house a home," reflects its commitment to providing homes where individuals and families can thrive and high-touch service that continuously enhances residents' living experiences.

The Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) provides the expertise and strategic investments needed to implement inclusive strategies that enhance financial security, expand opportunities for business, stimulate private investment, foster revitalization, and improve the quality of life for the diverse community of Dania Beach.

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