Happy Holidays from SLCgreen
SLCgreen is wishing you a healthy and happy holiday! During this time of year, we’ve been reflecting on the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced as a community brought on by the pandemic, hurricane-force windstorm and earthquake. This year, we’ve worked alongside our community members to continue essential City operations and services and step up efforts to help those who have been impacted the most by the devastating pandemic. More than ever before, we are witnessing the evidence of an undeniable connection between environmental justice and social equity.
SLCgreen’s mission is to protect our natural resources, reduce pollution, slow climate change, and establish a path toward greater resiliency and vitality for all aspects of our community. Our environmental work goes hand in hand with the efforts to improve equity in Salt Lake City.
Food access, renewable energy, and clean air initiatives continue to be critical aspects of our department’s work because they are intrinsically tied to equity. Recognizing that members of our community most impacted by decades of systemic racism and oppression also bear the brunt of environmental issues, SLCgreen will continue to prioritize environmental justice and equity for our community. Read on for some ways you can help, and information about community resources.
Be Part of Salt Lake City’s Equity & Resiliency:
This season, many of us our looking for ways to give back in ways that support our neighbors and the planet. The choices can be overwhelming. But even small acts can make a big difference. If you’re looking for ways to be more sustainable and support social justice initiatives, here are a few ideas of what you can do to help:
- Raise Up Salt Lake City: The Mayor’s Office and the Community Foundation of Utah joined forced to provide economic relief to those in need through the #RaiseUpSLC program. With the help of donations, the program provides $500 to residents facing hardships including illness and unemployment due to the pandemic. Donations are still being accepted.
- Nourish to Flourish: The local non-profit works to address local food insecurity by connecting restaurants with funding to provide meals to those in need. Since May 2020, the program has served over 80,000 meals.
- More Food Access Initiatives: With increases in demand, the Food Bank and our community food pantries have an increased need for donations. Additionally, Waste Less Solutions is eager to pick up and deliver donations of edible food to those in need.
- Shop Locally: Shopping at small, local businesses supports our local economy, and often is a more sustainable choice because you’re reducing the need for packaging and emissions associated with shipping. Buy or gift Downtown Dollars, electronic gift cards that are valid at many downtown SLC bars, restaurants and retailers. You can even get locally grown food throughout the winter at the Downtown Winter Farmers Market.
The pandemic has caused increased financial insecurity in Salt Lake City. As a result, barriers to access to healthy food, safe housing, and healthcare resources have also increased. Here are a few resources for community aid:
- Rental Assistance: More than $1 million in rental assistance is still available for Salt Lake City residents and can be used for current rent or past payments. Call Utah Community Action at 801-359-2444. Residents facing eviction should contact People’s Legal Aid immediately at (801) 477-6975.
- Emergency Food Resources: Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been tracking resources for emergency food access in Salt Lake City including where to sign up for SNAP, get emergency food delivery, and resources for food service workers.
- City Services: More City services and resources can be found on the Mayor’s comprehensive resource page.
Have a Safe & Sustainable Holiday
One of the best ways you can give back to your community is by preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even as the vaccine starts to be delivered to the general public, the pandemic continues to threaten our health and stability. Keeping socially distanced and mindful of other safety guidelines will help your family stay healthy throughout the winter.
While you’re at home, remember you can have a sustainable holiday by limiting food waste, saving energy, and recycling! We’re looking forward to the start of a New Year and more ways to engage with you to make Salt Lake City more sustainable and equitable.
Happy holidays from the Salt Lake City Sustainability Team.