Danielle Smull (l-r), Clint Gardner and Max Corwin inspect one of SLCC Gardens plots. Food grown in these plots helps supply Bruin Pantries with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Salt Lake Community College was one of several institutions recently selected to receive a Ford College Community Challenge grant of $25,000 in order to lead transformational change in their community. Each institution’s project will be led by students who will work with a nonprofit to address one of the following categories: social mobility, smart mobility or building a sustainable community.
Salt Lake Community College’s project is called SLCC Eats, launched from the Thayne Center and the Student Leaders in Civic Engagement (SLiCE). The project seeks to address inequities, including the national statistic that 23% of community college students face food insecurity, in part by supporting hungry students access to healthy food and nutrition education to stay focused on school and work.
“SLCC is proud to actively address food security for our community,” says Dr. Kathryn Kay Coquemont, Associate Vice President for Student Success. “Our Thayne Center for Service & Learning hopes to not only provide quality food through the Bruin Pantry, but also help communities learn how to increase their access to food through sustainable gardening. We are enormously thankful to the Ford Motor Company for their support in helping us meet this need.”
The grant is earmarked not only to align and elevate the conversation of justice-oriented food systems but to establish SLCC Eats grants as a catalyst for student-driven projects related food access, nutrition, and sustainability. The project will explore the feasibility of several efforts including increased access to ready-to-eat meals, increased education for nutrition programs, and aquaponics and gardening education as well as the continued growth of the Bruin Pantries and SLCC Gardens.
Through the Ford College Community Challenge, Ford Motor Company Fund aims to support colleges and universities as they work with students to design and develop tangible community projects that address critical local needs in new ways, with a focus on helping the community become a more sustainable place to work and live. Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3), is an innovative grant-making initiative designed to inspire students at higher education organizations to catalyze community-building projects focused on addressing pressing local needs. Ford C3 is an educational initiative of Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. More details about the program and previous winners can be found at https://www.fordblueovalnetwork.org/ford-college-community-challenge.
Each year, up to ten grants are awarded throughout the country in this prestigious and very selective program. Winning proposals must consider, in a unique way, a precisely identified, unmet community need tied to the theme in one of three broad categories:
· Driving Social Mobility
· Changing the Way People Move through Smart Mobility
· Building Sustainable Communities
Projects must also:
· Address pressing community issues in a tangible way
· Involve students in a significant leadership role
· Include a community-based partner