Dream Vault Opens at Blue Door

Dion Dawson, CEO of Dion’s Chicago Dream, unveiled the Dream
Vault at the Blue Door Neighborhood Center. PHOTO PROVIDED BY
DION’S CHICAGO DREAM.
Dion Dawson, CEO of Dion’s Chicago Dream, unveiled the Dream Vault at the Blue Door Neighborhood Center. PHOTO PROVIDED BY DION’S CHICAGO DREAM.

 Dream Vault Opens at Blue Door

By Tia Carol Jones

Dion’s Chicago Dream in partnership with the Blue Door Neighborhood Center Morgan Park and T. Castro Produce have developed a way for people to receive fresh produce with the hope it will benefit residents in the Morgan Park community.

The Dream Vault is a set of 25 lockers that have boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables inside them. Users will get a code sent to their phone that opens the lockers. The Dream Vault, which is located at 11840 S. Marshfield Ave., will be able to provide fresh produce to 175 households weekly. This is the second Dream Vault Dion’s Chicago Dream has launched. The first vault is located at the Save A Lot in Englewood, located at 832 W. 63rd St.


The Blue Door Neighborhood Center Morgan Park opened in 2019 and since then, more than 54,000 people have visited and participated in programs there.


Laron Taylor, Director of Blue Door Neighborhood Center, said there are more than 150 community-based organization partners and the center leans on those partners to make things like the Dream Vault happen.


“Using data, as well as qualitative data, we learned that access to food is one of those challenges. So today, we are honored to be working with Dion’s Chicago Dream to make sure we can provide access to food,” Taylor said.


Dion Dawson, founder and CEO of Dion’s Chicago Dream, said the Dream Vault is an example of bringing together partners, innovation and technology to get a hold of issues that are plaguing the community – food insecurity and health disparities. He added that he has never wavered in his commitment to have a partnership with the Blue Door Neighborhood Center.


“I know that Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Door Neighborhood Center have really been committed to understanding what partnership looks like on both ends. I am extremely grateful for Laron and his team,” Dawson said.


It is Dawson’s hope that the Dream Vault will be able to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to as many families as possible. He also wants to look at the data to ensure that providing the produce helps improve health outcomes for the people who receive the items.


Ronnie Mosley, 21st Ward Alderman, said that Dawson has been taking his dream to the next level by founding Dion’s Chicago Dream.


“When we talk about food insecurity and I talk about the mission of the 21st Ward thriving and being its best, we know that takes fuel power, Dion is answering the call, he’s putting food in front of families so that they have enough fuel to go on and push through to create and live out their own dreams,” Mosley said.


Tiffany Davis, Executive Director of Health Equity and Quality Improvement at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, said the launching of the Dream Vault is what happens when people come together with a dream, a vision and a passion to serve. She said that food insecurity is one of the top three needs of Illinois Medicaid members face.


“Being able to execute programs and interventions that solve that need are so important,” she said.


T. Castro Produce has been a partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Blue Door Neighborhood Center providing fresh produce to monthly farmers markets in Pullman, Morgan Park and South Lawndale. Matthew Prinske, Vice President of T. Castro Produce, said the Dream Vault, like other programs Blue Cross and Blue Shield has, shows its commitment to fight food insecurity in the community. He said there is an impact beyond providing fresh fruits and vegetables, the ability to create an economy from the produce to the boxes they are put in.


“We look forward to continuing to grow this relationship with you, Dion, and continuing to grow with Blue Cross and Blue Shield,” Prinske said.


For more information about Dion’s Chicago Dream, visit dionschicagodream.com. For more information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield, visit bcbsil.com.

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