Bridget Stuchly Recognized by Slow Food Utah
This week, our program manager Bridget Stuchly was honored at Slow Food Utah’s Feast of the Five Senses with the “Community Leader – Snail Award.” We’re grateful (and not at all surprised) that she received this recognition! (Though she was surprised, because we all kept it a secret!)
The Slow Food Utah Snail Awards were launched in 2012 as a way of recognizing those people who are ardent supporters and believers in the Slow Food mission. That mission is to “inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for all.”
The Slow Food movement started in Italy in 1986 “to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.”
The organization exists in 160 countries. In the US, there are more than 150 local chapters and 6,000 members.
Bridget certainly embodies many of the values espoused by Slow Food in her personal and professional life. Indeed, she’s been transforming the food scene in Salt Lake for over 10 years.
In light of her recent award (which was the best kind of surprise, by the way), we thought it was high time to give a shout-out to our lady Bridget who has been the instigator of so many amazing programs here in Salt Lake City.
Bridget, thank you for all you have done and all you do every day! You’re amazing.
In her ten years with the City, Bridget:
- Created Salt Lake City’s first local food program, which has become a defining area of SLCgreen’s overall mission. Our mission in this area is to promote “a sustainable, low-carbon, equitable system that provides healthy food for the entire community.”
- Started the Food Policy Task Force in 2009. This diverse group of individuals and organizations works to identify policy and program opportunities to improve access to more fresh and nutritious food for all Salt Lake residents. The FPTF also works to identify opportunities to expand urban farming, preserve open space and to empower residents to live more sustainably.
- Conducted numerous assessments and policy reviews to reduce barriers to local food production. Revisions included a provision that allows community gardens to sell their produce on site to the public. The suite of ordinances also relaxed restrictions on backyard chickens and beekeeping.
- Helped lead the vision for, analysis of, and ultimate creation of Salt Lake City’s incubator kitchen, the Square Kitchen, which opened in 2018.
Bridget also established numerous community partnerships to strengthen our local food system in Salt Lake City. These include flagship programs of SLCgreen:
- The Green City Growers Program: In 2012, the Green City Growers program was created to significantly expanded community garden opportunities for city residents by making City-owned/managed land available for community development. In partnership with Wasatch Community Gardens, seven gardens have been developed to date!
- The Salt Lake City FruitShare Program: Initiated in 2012, SLC FruitShare diverts surplus fruit from residents’ underutilized fruit trees to residents with low access to healthy food through a partnership with the Green Urban Lunch Box. Because all of those wonderful cherries, apples, apricots, peaches, and more shouldn’t go to waste!
- Food Recovery: Currently, 40% of the food purchased in the U.S. is wasted. Depending on the type of food, food waste accounts for up to 35% of the greenhouse emissions released from our food system. Bridget and the Food Policy Task Force have worked to create and support programs that divert consumable and non-consumable food waste from the landfill. (see: SLC FruitShare, Backyard GardenShare, and Food Rescue-SLC Chapter.) Non-consumable food waste will soon be diverted to a compost facility or Wasatch Resource Recovery’s anaerobic digester.
- Urban Greens Mobile Market: This truly has been a labor of love. Launched in the summer of 2016, the Urban Greens Mobile Market operates in several locations throughout the Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods during the growing season to provide local and organic produce to residents that live in low access areas.
- Urban Farming Program: Started in 2015, the SLC Urban Farming program
identifies underutilized city parcels that could be used for farming. The program
contracts with farmers to grow organic fruit and vegetables using drip irrigation in an effort to increase the amount of ecologically sustainable produce grown in the city’s foodshed. We currently have three farms established on SLC property (read about one of them).
- Local Food Microgrant Fund: Because just 3 percent of the fruits and 2 percent of the vegetables consumed by residents are grown in Utah, this program aims to support a more resilient local food system. In partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah—the non-profit affiliated with the Downtown Alliance– this grant program is allocating $85,000 over several years to farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind.
- Pesticide Free SLC: Launched as part of the Healthy Babies, Bright Futures
Initiative, the Pesticide Free SLC program aims to educate residents on how to reduce their use and exposure to chemical pesticides in and outside of the home.
She’s also raised tens of thousands of dollars in outside grant funding to support this innovative work.
Thank you Slow Food Utah for your recognition and honoring of Bridget Stuchly and all she has done! We think she’s the bees’ knees too!