Anchored in the heart of South Memphis, Knowledge Quest held its 9th Annual Harvest Food Fest this past weekend. No one was more pleased than Marlon Foster, the non-profit’s executive director.
“All of our children are having a great time,” said Foster. “A local neighborhood band, a lot of fun and food – just pushing a cause to celebrate all that’s happening in South Memphis.
Presented by International Paper, Harvest Fest ushered visitors (Nov. 1) to Knowledge Quest’s Green Leaf Learning Farm, which has been certified as an organic farm by the USDA. The day included a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new International Paper Farm Stand and Outdoor Classroom. Also inaugurated was the Residences of Green Leaf Dormitory.
Opening in 1998, Knowledge quest is a self-described “community social change agent in South Memphis,” with a priority on children. It takes in ZIP codes 38126 and 38106, which, according to its website, have “some of the City of Memphis’ highest rates in poverty, school drop-out, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy, coupled with the gang activity and youth violence.”
On display was Green Leaf Learning Farm fresh foods – squash, carrots and much more. Also in the mix were farm-produced eggs.
As children explored the outdoor classroom, Dyneisha Woods, community engagement representative for International Paper, put the company’s involvement in context.
“Education, health and wellness are a part of our signature cause areas. So our efforts to support Knowledge Quest in the opening of this classroom is something that maximizes those efforts,” said Woods.
“We are so extremely proud to be able to provide our people, our products and our resources to contribute to the education and the wellbeing of the children here in the South Memphis community. Marlon and his team have done an amazing job of bringing what was a dream to life and we are so pleased that we could be a part of that effort.”
Knowledge Quest officially opened its 10-unit, dormitory-style apartments that will house students from LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) and the University of Memphis.
Shantinque Bolden, a LOC sophomore, is one of the dormitory residents.
“Thank you Mr. Foster. And thanks for everybody who provided for my living right now; just thanks,” said Bolden.