Dr. Phillips Charities awards $5 million to 4Roots farm in Orlando

Grant aimed at helping fund phase one of farm campus’ construction

4Roots sign along John Young Parkway (Thomas Mates)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The 40-acre farm and educational campus being built in Orlando’s new Packing District by barbecue mogul John Rivers is getting a big boost from Dr. Phillips Charities in the form of a $5 million grant.

The farm and educational campus is all part of Rivers’ 4Roots initiative “an alliance of community stakeholders investing in a healthy thriving, sustainable, food system,” according to its website. The goal is to improve food access in Central Florida while increasing education about healthy eating.


Dr. Phillips Charities notes that hunger and food access issues were brought to the forefront by the pandemic and “strived to support innovative programs to fill those needs,” according to a news release.

Listen to John Rivers episode of Florida Foodie in the media player below:

The $5 million grant will be distributed over the next three years in order to help construct 4Roots’ educational classrooms, a greenhouse, barn, apiary, fields and gardens and a compost area, the charity organization said.

“The 4Roots Farm Campus is a project that takes a commitment to improving the health and wellness of our community and puts it into action,” Ken Robinson, president/CEO of Dr. Phillips Charities, said in a statement. “We are proud to support 4Roots with this grant to jumpstart what will be a one-of-a-kind destination for all Central Floridians.”

[TRENDING: Video shows school bus running over man | School districts react to latest rule on quarantining | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Rivers said in August that crews had already begun clearing the land for the farm campus and he hopes to break ground sometime this fall.

“And if all goes well, then we should have students on campus — I’d say — by the end of next year,” he said.

People can donate to 4Roots here.

Use the form below to sign up for the ClickOrlando.com Florida Foodie newsletter, sent every other Wednesday.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.