Through the Back-Farms and Small Farm Initiative programs, the Green Urban Lunch Box distributes free fresh and locally grown produce at select markets across the Salt Lake Valley.
When compared to other age demographics, seniors experience food insecurity at a disproportionate level. Check out our blog post for more information.
The Green Urban Lunch Box partners with Salt Lake County’s Aging and Adult Services, Utah State University Extension’s Master Gardeners Program, and Salt Lake County Jail’s Horticulture Program to host Free Farm Stands for seniors at local senior centers. We work together to address food insecurity and create access to healthy fresh food for senior citizens in our community by growing and distributing food to them through these markets.
Because we work with vulnerable populations, this season our distribution programs saw changes in order to keep our recipients, volunteers, and staff safe. Salt Lake County senior centers are currently closed and do not have an anticipated re-opening date. Together with our partners, we distributed fresh produce during curbside lunch pickup at the centers. Updates for Free Farm Stands at senior centers next season will be provided as they become available.
In partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, we host Free Farm Stands at four cancer centers along the Wasatch Front. Our aim is to provide fresh nutritious produce to patients undergoing cancer treatment. This produce is grown by our staff and aspiring farmers through our Small Farms Initiative program. Ability to access fresh, high quality organically grown produce is important, as “eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 forced us to pivot away from our Free Farm Stands at Intermountain Healthcare cancer centers. The centers are doing what they can to protect their patients, and outside visitors are not encouraged at this time. Instead, the 10,800 pounds of fruits and veggies that were intended for the cancer centers were instead donated to the Utah Food Bank to be distributed to help fight food insecurity. Updates regarding Free Farm Stands at cancer centers for next season will be provided as they become available.