Many are familiar with the anecdote Mr. Rogers once shared “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It is a beautiful piece of advice to help children find comfort in uncertain times. Unfortunately, for many children, those times are now.
Before COVID-19, there were already 1 in 7 children facing food insecurity. Now, due to school closures and job loss, the number has almost certainly grown. The pain of hunger looms large for many. Add to that the fear of sickness, isolation from normal routine and interaction with friends, and loss of traditional group celebrations, and the level of grief and trauma can be devastating.
The good news is, there are helpers. While we can’t take this pandemic away, and the effects will be felt for a very long time, there are many on the frontlines offering assistance to those in need. Utah Food Bank is proud to be among those helpers and grateful to all those who have stepped up to partner with us.
From the huge effort of many in hosting our largest ever mobile food distribution to an anonymous donation match, and from the generosity of people and organizations, both large and small, to the day-in-day-out work of volunteers and employees across the state, to kids setting up neighborhood lemonade stands and food drives, the response has been swift and overwhelmingly positive.