July 20 & 21 –
In an effort to connect local families with resources to help them recover from the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way of Salt Lake partnered with eight local schools, the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office, and Nomi Health to promote Utah 211 services and administer vaccines during free lunch pick-up times.
“This has truly been a collaborative effort in our community,” says School Network Director, Patti White.
Granite School District offers free lunch to students during the summer as part of the Summer Feeding Program. Schools often give out more than 150 lunches a day to families in the area, and the potential to reach community members in need of other types of assistance is high.
“Granite supports the Summer Feeding program because at the end of the day, the challenges and circumstances that our students and families face continue to be tremendous,” says Ben Horsley, Communications Director for Granite School District. “Children do not get to pick the circumstances in which they live and this program fills the unintentional holes in some of our students’ lives.”
White knew lunch pick-up was a perfect opportunity to let families know about the resources that exist to help them during the pandemic.
“Many people do not know that there are resources available for assistance,” she says.
Over two days, 13 United Way of Salt Lake staff members volunteered 31 hours of their time to hand out flyers encouraging families to contact Utah 211 and be connected to local non-profit organizations and government programs helping meet health and human services needs.
The packet of flyers contained information on:
- Rental Assistance through RentReliefUtah.gov
This government program has funds available for families who are struggling to pay their rent or utilities due to the residual effects of the pandemic.
The FCC is helping more families connect to the internet by providing a discount of up to $50 per month on broadband services for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
By leveraging the Utah 211 network which is comprised of local organizations providing basic needs, education support, and more; Stay Safe, Stay Connected helps students and families connect to resources that will help them succeed in school while they are learning virtually.
In addition to providing information about services, the project included vaccination opportunities. Nomi Health brought popup vaccine clinics to each of the eight schools, and during the lunch hours vaccinated 83 people.
“It is important to get vaccinated for a number of reasons,” says Dr. Steely, Nomi Health’s Medical Director. “In addition to keeping yourself and others safe, in Utah we’re seeing a sharp increase in positive COVID cases due to the end of universal mask mandates, the increased infectivity of the Delta variant, and Utah’s vaccination rate not reaching the level needed for herd immunity. To keep everyone safe and healthy we encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated immediately.”
Based on the success of this outreach program it’s clear that information and access are key to helping our communities survive the pandemic and come out the other side ready to thrive. To learn more about vaccine safety and how to schedule an appointment visit coronavirus.utah.gov, and to support UWSL’s efforts for an inclusive recovery donate today!