Dion Dawson had a tough childhood. He was one of four boys raised by a single mother in the south side of Chicago. He remembers living for days on potato chips and standing in line for hours at food pantries, only to receive moldy produce or unlabeled cans. Dawson’s experience growing up is common among the 32% of Black Chicago households that are food insecure.
“We were just trying to make ends meet,” he says. “You pair living in a food desert with being homeless and, or having low income, then you start to see a trend. I couldn’t go to college because my at-home situation wasn’t stable enough.”
While Dawson didn’t attend college, he did serve six years in the military. When the Navy veteran returned home from duty, the opportunities were slim. He was forced to live in his car and once again found himself homeless and food insecure.