Mobile Pantries have been a vital part of Fighting Hunger Statewide for a long time, with mobile pantries set up across the state that distribute food on a regular basis. They have historically provided support to Utahns living in areas that are classified as food deserts or are inaccessible or underserved by traditional food pantries. COVID-19 has proven just how essential they are as an effective and efficient tool in responding to the sharp increase in need due to school closings and job loss. We have already expanded distribution through this program, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months.
One example of this expansion is the emergency food distribution we hosted on Friday, April 24th. This was the largest emergency food distribution we have done so far, serving more than 5,000 families, impacting a total of approximately 29,000 individuals!
This event was planned in a relatively short time and wouldn’t have been successful without the collaboration of many, including 192 amazing volunteers and staff, and an impressive list of groups including Maverik Center, Herc Rentals, Utah Barricade Company, Deseret Transportation, Hoj Innovations, Performance Trucking, C.R. England, Meadow Gold and Dairy West.
Ten trucks, 218 pallets of food, and 19 pallets of milk were distributed through 6 pick-up lanes, and results were awe-inspiring — check out the amazing drone footage below, captured by Loveland Innovations. But the statistics are only important when you consider the people behind those numbers. As Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank president and CEO said of the event, “A lot of people coming today are first-time recipients. This is new for them — it’s hard to come, it’s a little bit embarrassing sometimes. We try to make it easy and safe, and try to make them recognize that people in the community are here to help.”
More than 126,000 Utahns have filed for unemployment in recent weeks. With many Utahns living paycheck to paycheck, the loss of work has hit hard.
“It’s going to help a lot. They cut down my husband’s hours at work,” Stacy Thompson, a recipient at the distribution, said. “Not one family is alone and struggling through this. We are all in this together,” she added.
Bringing food and hope to our fellow Utahns is the reason we do what we do. If you would like more information about our Mobile Pantry program, including a distribution calendar please CLICK HERE.
If you would like to help us in this endeavor, please consider a donation. Not only can we turn every dollar into $7.66 worth of goods and services, but financial donations will allow us to remain flexible so that we can offer additional distribution services, which will increase transportation costs.