South Salt Lake given grant to encourage healthy eating
Let them eat fruit!
South Salt Lake recently received the Specialty Crops Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, which will be used to help children and adults learn about the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables, and to help increase consumption of these foods.
“The grant is designed to increase the amount of specialty crops, which in Utah are designated as fruits, vegetables and nuts,” said Kari Cutler, Social Marketing Consultants CEO. “The whole goal is to get more fruit, vegetables and nuts to folks who don’t have access.”
Cutler is contracted with the City of South Salt Lake to help develop grants and projects. She helped the city apply for the grant in early June.
The project that the grant will be used for is called the South Salt Lake Community Connection to Agriculture Project and it has four strategies to assure success. The grant is for $10,000.
The first strategy includes partnering with local businesses and farmers to bring fruits and vegetables into neighborhoods. One of the first neighborhoods being targeted is the Helm Avenue area (3700 South to 3900 South between State Street and 300 East).
The area was chosen based on survey questions residents answered about their fruit and vegetable intake. Crime rates and other factors were also considered.
Cutler said what made South Salt Lake a good candidate for this grant was a study done by the Utah Department of Health IBIS-PH (Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health) that showed South Salt Lake was low in consumption of fruits and vegetables.
The second strategy in the project is to work with a local produce company to bring a Mobile Produce Market into neighborhoods. Cutler said they would like the vendor they work with to think “ice cream truck” but sell produce.
The third strategy is to help residents who are interested in growing their own fruits and vegetables to connect with existing gardening programs such as Salt Lake County Extension, Salt lake County Refugee Services Office’s “New Roots” program, community gardens and other growers groups.
The final and fourth strategy is to recruit local growers to participate in the South Salt Lake Farmer’s Market.
Glenn Smith, South Salt Lake urban livability director, said that they would like the local farmer’s market to be more imbedded in the neighborhood than in a commercial area.
“Our goal is to try and affect as many people and educate as many people as we can,” Smith said. “If we put [the farmer’s market] in a commercial area, it’s harder to get people to come there if it’s not something that necessarily interests them. So if we can put it more in line with their daily activities, that’s going to be our goal -- to make it kind of more routine for them.”
The grant was received in mid-July and Cutler said that the main part of the project will start in 2013, near Utah’s harvest time. The grant comes through the Utah Department of Agriculture.