It’s year two for the Urban Greens Market, which means regular availability of fresh, locally grown, and affordable produce to residents in Salt Lake City’s Glendale and Poplar Grove areas.
The project is a collaboration among the City’s Sustainability Department, The Green Urban Lunchbox, Utah Community Action Program’s Real Food Rising, and Utahns Against Hunger.
The groups worked together to launch the Urban Greens Market in 2016 to increase the availability of local and sustainable produce in low access areas of Salt Lake City. Both Salt Lake City and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that Poplar Grove and Glendale lack grocery stores, have some of the lowest vehicle ownership rates in the country, and are home to an abundance of fast food outlets and convenience stores—all factors leading to their designation as a “food desert.”
To help address that challenge, the Urban Greens Mobile Market, like last year, will rotate through several locations every week in Glendale and Poplar Grove, selling locally grown and harvested produce.
“Everyone should be able to buy healthy, fresh, and affordable food within walking distance of their front door,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We’re delighted to bring the Urban Greens Market back for a second year to serve our residents of the west side.”
Last year, the different sites within walking distance of low access neighborhoods hosted the Urban Greens Market and provided fresh produce to more than 900 customers. More than 6,832 pounds of produce was sold and 69 percent of customers reported eating more fruits and vegetables after shopping at the market.
Changes to the market this year include having more times available throughout the week at a variety of locations; beginning the market later in the summer to offer more in-season produce; and ending the market two weeks earlier (October 31 rather than November 14).
Once again, every location will accept EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer, formerly known as food stamp) benefits and Double Up Food Bucks — a nutrition incentive program run by Utahns Against Hunger. The Double Up Food Bucks program will match EBT benefits spent at the Urban Greens Market, up to $10 per market day, for fresh Utah-grown produce.
The Market also provides practical job-training skills by employing teens who are part of the Utah Community Action’s youth development program.
“When you visit an Urban Greens Market farm stand, you will find fresh produce that was grown and harvested by hard-working local teenagers. You may even get to meet the youths who are gaining skills in sustainable agriculture, job readiness, financial literacy, and community engagement,” said Laurie MacMillan, of Utah Community Action.
The produce is grown locally by farmers working with Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) and Real Food Rising. Providing another venue for farmers to sell their produce is an important feature of the Urban Greens Market, which supports GULB’s incubator farm program.
As we work to increase the number of farmers in the Salt Lake area,” said Shawn Peterson, of Green Urban Lunch Box, “It’s very important to also increase the number of customers buying their produce. This—we hope—gets people hooked on delicious, farm fresh food, creating more demand for new urban farmers, and, ultimately, driving up consumption of local food.”
The Urban Greens Market is hosted by Sorenson Unity Center, Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center, Neighborhood House, and Sherwood Park from now until October 31.
“Whether you live in Glendale, Poplar Grove or another community, we encourage everyone to stop by and check out the Urban Greens Market. You’ll support our local food system and take advantage of stocking up on local produce at very affordable prices,” Mayor Biskupski said.
For more information on the program’s locations and hours, please visit:
For a summary of the first year of the Urban Greens Market, please visit: