Food for Thought: Green Haven Project

MIAMI – Historic Overtown is a short distance from a thriving arts and entertainment district. Yet, it’s miles away from affordable nutritious foods.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to these urban areas, you have corner stores everywhere,” said Jorge Palacios, co-founder and President of Green Haven Project. “It’s not often that you have access to fresh foods.”

The downtown Miami skyline frames the two acres of land where the Green Haven Project grows a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. The mission is to create and educate. Green Haven Project creates sustainable gardens in areas known as food deserts, and they educate the youth on how to maintain and harvest from those gardens for proper nutrition.

“What most people don’t realize when it comes to food is that it’s our biggest expense,” said Palacios. “Everyone has got to eat, so I also understood that it’s the common ground for humanity.”

As part of our Food for Thought campaign, Local 10 and Publix Super Markets volunteers joined Green Haven Project for a vegetable planting. The nonprofit invited kids from the neighborhood, and we worked together to prepare the soil.

“I think they are going to put the seed under water and put water and then the sun is going to make it a plant soon,” said 10-year-old Elijah Dias.

When Local 10 Director of Community Relations Mayte Padron asked Elijah if he would eat from what he planted, he responded with an enthusiastic, “Well, yes, when it finishes growing, then we will all eat it together.”

Elijah’s right. Everything that’s grown at Green Haven Project goes right back to the community at no cost. It’s a perfect example of nature meeting the needs of its caretakers.

If you’d like to find out more or get involved with the Green Haven Project, email or visit its website at

About the Author:

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.