Support Food Justice Meal Outreach & Education
Food Justice Coalition works to increase healthy food access throughout Utah by creating fresh, nutritionally-dense, plant-based meals to benefit food-insecure families and people experiencing homelessness.
Food Justice was formed in December 2020 when our founder decided to create a Christmas dinner for 200 people experiencing homelessness. Five days before Christmas, a fundraiser was launched to raise $400. The community came together to give over $4,000 in 48 hours. A plant-based menu was created, tables, chairs, place settings and linens were rented, a Christmas tree was erected, and Christmas stockings were filled with gifts and hand-written cards.
On a frigid Christmas afternoon, dozens of volunteers gathered to set up tables, chairs, linens, place settings, and festive decor over a decommissioned railroad track beneath a freeway overpass. It began to snow as we served Christmas dinner to 200+ unhoused individuals and their pets. Our unhoused neighbors filled their bellies and felt the warmth of the community wrap their arms around them in support.
After the Christmas dinner, we had ample leftover funds. We kept making plant-based meals and distributing them directly to folks experiencing homelessness. The community recognized the need for this work and kept donating funds, so we kept providing food. Nearly a year later, we applied for non-profit status, and Food Justice Coalition became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Since our inception in December 2020, we have created and served over 35,000 meals to people experiencing food insecurity in Salt Lake County. Along with direct outreach, Food Justice Coalition focuses on advocacy and education by engaging with local businesses, organizations, and universities on the importance of creating sustainable and intersectional food equality.
What We Stand For
Justice in food means making healthy food available for everyone regardless of income, skin color, or zip code. Food justice also means supporting people with the tools and resources they need to make the food choices they want. We also understand that to create true food justice; we must address the root cause—wealth inequality. According to a survey of consumer finances performed by the federal reserve, white families have eight times the wealth of the typical Black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family. For some, this is an uncomfortable truth, but a reality, nonetheless. Sustainable solutions for food insecurity must be rooted in creating income equality, providing people with agency to make the food choices that best support them and their families. Our programs focus on direct relief, education, advocacy, and long-term solutions to address the root cause of food insecurity.
What We Accomplished in the Last Year
One year ago, in September 2021, we became a 501(3)(c) non-profit. Since then, we have moved into a commissary kitchen, distributed over 25,000 nutritionally-dense meals, started two brand new programs, recruited 200 additional volunteers, and formed new partnerships with private and public organizations to do more impactful work. We've experienced immense growth thanks to the wonderful response of the Salt Lake community.
We Need Your Support Once Again
We need your support in raising $100,000 to cover the costs of our three current programs for the next twelve months. Our current programs are:
Direct Food Outreach (2-3 days per week )
Our direct food outreach program provides fresh, ready-to-eat, plant-based meals to people experiencing food insecurity. Meals are distributed directly to folks experiencing homelessness and to families experiencing food insecurity. We work with local micro-farmers and restaurants to take excess/imperfect foods and turn them into beautiful meals. This helps us offset costs and keep food waste out of landfills. Meals are taken from our kitchen directly to the street, where volunteers connect with unhoused folks and offer them a fresh and healthy meal and water.
Afterschool Enrichment (2 days per week )
This program teaches K-12 students food access, food security, and healthy eating. Within those categories, we explore developing food skills, urban agriculture, environmental justice, and racial disparities in the food system. We aim to give students culturally responsive and age-appropriate experiential learning initiatives that provide students with an opportunity to discover new foods, learn about agriculture and food science, and make the connection between nutritious food and social-emotional health. We currently teach this program at a school on the west side via funding from a partner organization. We've had countless requests from parents and educators to offer programming of this kind, but we've not had the budget for it. Your donations can help us expand this program to many more students.
Free Lunch Program (bi-monthly)
We launched this program as a one-time event to support the community at large with food. Housed and unhoused folks were encouraged to pick up a fresh, ready-to-eat, plant-based meal at our kitchen, free of charge. The event was so successful that we made it a recurring event. While we were thrilled to be able to support the community this way, it was an eye-opening moment that informed us of the reality of how widespread food insecurity is in Utah. Current figures show that 1 in 11 adults and 1 in 9 children face food insecurity in Utah. Our free lunch program helps support people with fresh, healthy meals and gives them back the time they would otherwise spend grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up. This time back is small but significant, particularly for Black, Brown, and Indigenous families who are disproportionately affected by rising food costs and food security.
Thank you for your support.
The Food Justice Coalition
Choose amount Payment Information Payment
David Litvack | $100
Thank you for all you do
craig Steury | $100
Andrew | $1,000
We appreciate all the work you're doing!!
Alison Swillinger | $100
Thank you for the great work you are doing in SLC!
Tina | $100
This donation is 10% of sales from an online shop update. Continue doing the great work!
Stephanie Davies | $50
Merritt Loughran | $50
Bekah Newman | $50
Thank you for feeding our neighbors.
Aaron James | $7,500
Justice for Zane James is thankful to the Food Justice Coalition for all the work that they do.