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Posts tagged ‘local food’

Microgrant Recipients Announced! What are these Local Farmers Doing to Grow their Operations This Year?

by Avery Driscoll

In February, the City announced a microgrant program for local farmers in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah (UFCU). The fund will offer the majority of funding to local farmers over a two year period who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. (UFCU will receive a small portion of the funds to administer and help grow the program).

The grants will help farmers access technology, education, tools, and equipment to grow more produce and do so more sustainably.

“We’re delighted to partner with Urban Food Connections of Utah to give farmers the critical boost they need to invest back in their operations,” said Mayor Biskupski.

The first of three grant cycles has just concluded. The program was competitive with 33 applicants requesting a total of $131,668.93 in microgrant funding. So while only a handful of awardees were chosen for this round, we know there is sizable demand for continued microgrant opportunities to support local farmers and the local food market. We hope to continue to work with UFCU to expand the program in the coming years to meet more of that demand.

So without further adieu . . .  Read more

Earth Week Day 3: Grow Your Own Food

It’s Earth Week!

Each day this week SLCgreen will post different tips and activities to challenge you to reduce your impact on the Earth.

Today, we are challenging you to grow your own food– whether that’s a pot of basil or something more ambitious.

April is the perfect time to think about planting seeds or starts and increasing your consumption of local food. Local food decreases the carbon emissions associated with food production and transport; preserves open space; supports local economies and wildlife; and so much more.

So what are you waiting for?

In the video above, Bryant Terry explains the benefits of farming in dense urban areas.

Growing food at home can be simple with the right tools – even in Utah. The first step toward growing your own food is assessing your resources. Do you have a yard space? Do you have sufficient sunlight or shade to fulfill plant needs? Do you have easy access to water on your property?

Answering these questions can help you decide if gardening onsite is best, or if you should look at other options in your area. Read more

Earth Week Day 2: Calculate Your Carbon Footprint & Reduce It

Carbon Footprint

It’s Earth Week! Each day this week SLCgreen will post different tips and activities to challenge you to reduce your impact on the Earth. Today, we are challenging you to calculate and reduce your climate footprint!

Calculate & Reduce

The EPA calculator estimates your footprint in three areas: home energy, transportation, and waste. Everyone’s carbon footprint is different depending on their location, habits, and personal choices. https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/

Maybe you are very efficient with the energy usage in your home, but live far away from work so have to drive more. The calculator will give you a snapshot of your footprint and the “best bang for your buck” in how to reduce it.

Read more

New “Mobile Farmers Market” to Open June 17

Urban GreensSalt Lake City is launching a new initiative, dubbed the “Urban Greens Market,” to bring healthy, affordable food to the Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods.  

After winning a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant in October 2015, SLCgreen partnered with local non-profits Green Urban Lunch Box, Real Food Rising, a program of Utah Community Action and Utahns Against Hunger to implement this creative approach to providing farmers-market-fresh food to the Glendale and Poplar Grove communities.

These areas, in particular, need better access to healthy food.  In fact, the USDA classified the Glendale/Poplar Grove neighborhoods as “food deserts” because of low supermarket access and some of the lowest vehicle ownership rates in the city.

That’s where the Urban Greens Market comes in.

Over the course of the summer and fall, it will make the rounds with fresh produce for sale, grown and harvested locally by farmers working with Green Urban Lunch Box and Real Food Rising.

Beginning Friday, June 17, the City’s Urban Greens Market program officially kicks off, with the first market located at Sherwood Park (1400 W 400 South 84104). 

“Ensuring that all Salt Lake City residents have access to healthy and affordable food is a major priority for my administration,” says Mayor Jackie Biskupski “This can be a real challenge for our Glendale and Poplar Grove communities that are situated in the largest food desert in Salt Lake City. The Urban Greens Market will make affordable, local produce accessible to our residents in these low access neighborhoods.”

The Urban Greens Market begins on June 17 and runs until November 14 and will be hosted by Sorenson Unity Center, Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center, Hartland Partnership Center, Neighborhood House, and Sherwood Park.

Thanks also to the Poplar Grove Community Council, Comunidades Unidas, and Community Health Centers for supporting our grant application to make this program happen!

For more information on the Urban Green Market’s locations and hours visit  www.SLCgreen.com/urbangreens or sign up for text alerts by texting MARKET to 51555.

Please share widely!

Schedule

 

Salt Lake City Announces Awardee, Location of the New Culinary Incubator Kitchen Project

Incubator-Kitchen-SquareSalt Lake City is pleased to announce that Square Kitchen has been awarded a competitive $350,000 grant to develop a culinary incubator kitchen in the Poplar Grove neighborhood. The new Square Kitchen will provide accessible and affordable commercial kitchen space to budding food entrepreneurs, in addition to regulatory, marketing and business resources.

“There is high demand for local and organic food options in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Square Kitchen will help to build and diversify our local food economy by removing the barriers that are preventing new companies from starting in the food sector – specifically the lack of commercial kitchen space and accessible business resources.”

Earlier this year, Mayor Becker and the Salt Lake City Council approved $600,000 to support the development of a Culinary Incubator Kitchen in Salt Lake City. $350,000 was available through a competitive grant process, while the additional $250,000 was made available through a loan. Proposals were submitted last summer to create and operate a culinary incubator kitchen.

The selection of Square Kitchen is another important step forward for a project that began over two years ago. In 2013, Salt Lake City’s Food Policy Task Force, in partnership with the Sustainability Division, worked with Carbaugh & Associates to conduct the Culinary Incubator Kitchen Feasibility Study (PDF). This study identified a strong demand for an incubator kitchen, while outlining the key components needed to create a successful project for the Salt Lake City community.

Square Kitchen, LLC was established in March 2015 by Analia Valdemoros, MCMP and Tham Soekotjo with the mission of building a culinary kitchen incubator facility accessible to all community members. Together, Valdemoros and Soekotjo have over 16 years of diverse experience as urban planners, entrepreneurs and local food business owners.

“Square Kitchen is thrilled to work with Salt Lake City in providing new and experienced food entrepreneurs with an affordable state-of-the art kitchen facility, sizable storage space, training opportunities to grow their food business, and most importantly, a gathering place to cultivate and increase food diversity in our city,” said Valdemoros and Soekotjo.

Square Kitchen is finalizing site plans and will break ground on the new facility in early spring 2016. The new kitchen plans to open its doors for business in July 2016.

For more information and to follow the progress of the Culinary Incubator Project, please visit www.SLCgreen.com.

Salt Lake City Awarded Grant to Expand Access to Healthy Foods in Glendale & Poplar Grove Neighborhoods

RFR

Photo: Real Food Rising

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City, in partnership with Green Urban Lunch Box, Utahns Against Hunger and Salt Lake Community Action Program’s Real Food Rising, has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers Market Promotion Program grant that will establish a mobile market and farm stands in the Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods of Salt Lake City.

“Salt Lake City is striving to create an equitable local food system that provides healthy and affordable food for all residents,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “For many residents in our Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods, it can be a challenge to access healthy whole foods. This project will bring fresh, local fruits and vegetables to residents who live in the largest food desert in Salt Lake City.”

The $54,421 in grant funds will be used to coordinate and operate five mobile markets and three farm stands from June to October 2016, which will be hosted by Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center, Hartland Partnership Center, Neighborhood House, Sherwood Park and Sorenson Unity Center. All locations will accept SNAP/EBT and Double Up Food Bucks.

The 2013 Salt Lake City Community Food Assessment found that the Glendale/Poplar Grove area has low supermarket access and some of the lowest vehicle ownership rates in the city. Of key significance are the lack of a full-service grocery store and an abundance of fast food outlets and convenience stores within the target community, which has, lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture to classify these neighborhoods as food deserts.

Future updates on the program, slated to launch next summer, will be posted at SLCgreen.com.

Double Up Food Bucks

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SLCgreen is excited to highlight the Double Up Food Bucks program, which began July 1st, 2015 and is available at 19 different farmers’ markets around the state.

Back for its second year, this program helps low income families who participate in SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) stretch their food dollars by matching dollar for dollar on farmers’ market and farm stand purchases.  This win-win-win program helps families afford fresh, healthy produce, while also supporting local farmers, and keeping food dollars within the local economy.

“According to a study completed by Sustainable Seattle, every dollar spent at a farmers’ market generates $2.80 of local economic activity. The benefit of Salt Lake City’s portion of the grant has potential to contribute as much as $336,000 to our local, Salt Lake City economy while increasing access to healthy food among our food insecure residents.”

Salt Lake City is committed to developing a more accessible, healthy, and equitable local food system. Food Security is one of the twelve core areas in the City’s Livability agenda. Therefore, Salt Lake City has committed $60,000 to the Double Up Food Bucks program.  This funding will support the program in conjunction with additional Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant funding awarded to Utahns Against Hunger.

So far this season there have already been 500 SNAP/ food stamp transactions at local farmers’ markets. With nearly 32,000 individuals participating in SNAP in Salt Lake City, the Double Up Food Bucks program will help even more families put fresh fruits and vegetables on the table.

For more information about how the program works, and where you can find a farmers’ market near you that supports this program, click here and visit the Utahns Against Hunger website.