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'Salt Laker Card' helps those struggling financially pay the bills and buy groceries

Posted at 1:23 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 15:23:16-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City nonprofit is handing out $500 cash cards to some of the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Raise Up Salt Lake City is giving out what’s called the Salt Laker Card.

The card helps people pay their bills, buy food or even presents this holiday season.

READ: Claims for unemployment benefits still high in Utah, but going down slightly

“The people who receive it can use it on household expenses, pay your rent, mortgage, Christmas gifts for their kids, whatever people might need,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “ It’s awesome to think that we have direct cash to get in their hands, especially during this holiday season and when the eviction moratorium is about to expire unfortunately, these dollars can go a long way to helping stabilize families and keep people well through the end of the pandemic hopefully.”

The organization says there are about 2700 Salt Lake City residents getting the federal aid this year who didn’t need the help last year.

READ: This little-known CARES Act rule could get small businesses more much-needed money

“These kinds of gifts people are desperate for right now, but they really would just rather be working and earning their own living,” said Jennifer Mayer-Glenn, the director of University Neighborhood Partners. “Having these funds actually feels really good to them because they don’t have to rely on other people, and so there’s been a lot of reliance on other people and so they’re really pleased to sort of get some money independently.”

Many residents or families either didn't qualify or couldn’t access the federal stimulus money due to their immigration status. That’s one of the reasons why Raise Up Salt Lake City along with other organizations are giving out the $500 cash cards.

READ: Undocumented immigrants across U.S. face unemployment challenges during pandemic

The funds come from money the city received from the federal government’s CARES Act as well as from donations.

Mayor Mendenhall says this project will continue on until the money runs out. If you’d like to make a donation, here’s a link.