Salt Lake City launched the Local Food Microgrant Program in February 2017 in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah, the non-profit organization that runs the Downtown Farmers Market, Rio Grande Winter Market and Tuesday Harvest Market. The Salt Lake City Council, on the recommendation of the Administration and its Sustainability Department, in 2016 set apart $85,000 to initially fund the program.
The program offers funding to local farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. The grants help farmers access technology, education, tools and equipment to grow more sustainable produce.
“Our goal is to increase the amount of healthy, locally-grown, organic food available in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “By providing small grants to farmers, we are also supporting local, ecologically sustainable agriculture and the City’s economy.”
In partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah — the non-profit affiliated with the Downtown Alliance — we’ll be granting money to farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind.
The grant program allows area farmers, such as those who sell at the Downtown Farmers Market and Winter Market at the Rio Grande, to apply for funds to access technology, education, tools and equipment to grow more organic local produce. Examples include the installation of sustainable farming techniques, building hoop houses or greenhouses to extend the growing season, purchase of organic seed, continuing education for farmers, or sponsorship of labor costs.
“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 Local Food Microgrant Program is one of the results of Salt Lake City’s 2013 Community Food Assessment (“CFA”). The CFA concluded that in order to advance a diverse and sustainable food system, local farmers require enhanced opportunities to increase production in addition to improved distribution opportunities including a process that would better connect local farmers with distributors, processors, retailers, and consumers.
The Local Food Microgrant program aims to address some of those concerns.
“This program will allow us to identify growers who want to shift into more sustainable and organic methods and increase what they produce,” said Alison Einerson, who manages the markets. “It’s a win for growers and consumers.”