New Roots: The food is local. The story is global.
As an essential part of our broader resettlement efforts, the New Roots program enables refugees to celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities.
New Roots is about healthy families, secure communities and a more sustainable future. It’s about dignity, determination and the boundless possibility of human connection. And it’s about the power of people to heal and nurture positive change from the ground up.
In 29 U.S. cities, the IRC provides resettled refugees with the assistance they need to survive and thrive. Through New Roots and a range of other programs, we are helping them to establish a strong future for themselves, their communities and our world.
The three focuses of New Roots in Salt Lake City are...
The Community Gardening Program secures plots for refugees at community gardens throughout Salt Lake City and collaborates with Promise South Salt Lake to develop new gardens in high-need areas. New Roots provides seeds, seedlings, and instruction on best gardening practices in Utah to help secure an abundant supply of produce for each refugee. The vegetables grown in these gardens help provide supplemental food for participants that is nutritious and easily accessible. New Roots brings gardeners together to share their agricultural skills and connect with their new home and community. In 2016, the Community Gardening Program worked with over 100 families in 15 garden sites across the Salt Lake Valley.
If you would like to learn more about the Community Gardening Program, please contact Community Garden Program Coordinator, Alex Haas, at Alex.Haas [at] rescue.org.
New Roots' food access component runs the multi-vendor Sunnyvale Farmers Market (SFM) where culturally appropriate produce, fruits and meats are available at affordable prices. The SFM is located in a low income area that is also Salt Lake County's largest food desert.
The Sunnyvale Farmers Market offers a 1-to-1 incentive match to customers eligible to receive EBT/SNAP, WIC, SSI or those whose children are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program. The program, known as The Fresh Fund, works like this: Customers provide proof they are eligible for one of the previously mentioned programs (EBT card, SSI stub, WIC voucher) and the SFM will provide an extra $10 that can be used to purchase additional fruits and vegetables. Ex: A customer spends $10 at the market and they receive an additional $10 for free, in the form of tokens that can be spent at the market, for a total of $20 in purchasing power!
The Fresh Fund is made possible by a USDA’s Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive grant program.
Micro-Training Farm Program
The Redwood Road Micro-Training Farm provides refugee farmers with the opportunity to grow and market a variety of crops. Through the direct selling of produce to consumers, the farmers are able to achieve greater economic independence by earning supplemental income for their families. The Redwood Road Micro-Training Farm provides large plots of land for farmers to cultivate, building their capacity to earn more income. Training and technical assistance is given to over 20 farmers from countries as diverse as Sudan, Burma, Bhutan, Chad, Somalia and Burundi.
Support New Roots!
How can I get involved as a volunteer?
- We offer a variety of individual and group volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Contact us at VolunteerSLC [at] Rescue.org (subject: Volunteer%20with%20New%20Roots) for more information about our current volunteer opportunities.
- Host a youth activity at Sunnyvale Farmers Market! Contact Aaron.Lee [at] Rescue.org (subject: Sunnyvale%20Farmers%20Market%20-%20Youth%20Activity) for more information.
How can I support the work of New Roots?
- Interested in a construction project? The New Roots is collecting bids or donations to build a new wash station at the Redwood Road Farm. Contact Sarah.Heller [at] Rescue.org for more information.
- Monetary and in-kind donations are always appreciated. Contact Sarah.Heller [at] Rescue.org (subject: Current%20Needs) for a list of current donation needs.
- Shop at our Sunnyvale Farmers Market! Market profits go directly back into the hands of refugee farmers.
How can I learn more about New Roots?
- Follow New Roots on Facebook!
- Follow our Sunnyvale Farmers Market on Facebook or Instagram!
- Visit our Sunnyvale Farmers Market website.
In the Media:
- Sunnyvale Farmers Market gives refugees in Utah a taste of home. Salt Lake Tribune. 9/15/2015.
- Seed Money. Catalyst Magazine. 9/29/2015.
- New Roots: Local Food, Global Stories. Adventuras, The Cotopaxi Journal. 01/2015.
- New Roots in Salt Lake City. GLP Films Production. 10/2013.
- Urban Gardens Provide Outlet for Cultural Expression for Refugees. Deseret News. 8/20/2012.
- West Valley Farm Giving Refugees Way to Put Down New Roots. KSL News. 7/24/2012.
For more information about our New Roots program, contact us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org.