Summer vacation isn’t over yet. In many school districts, it can last up to 90 days—and for kids and teens who rely on school meals—these last few weeks can feel like forever.
There are hungry children in our community—like Lily, who used to love lunchtime. She’d have a sandwich, an apple, and peanut butter crackers. On Fridays, her mom would give her an extra treat—pretzels. After lunch, she’d feel full, energized, and ready for the rest of her day. But that was before both her parents were laid off from their jobs. Before the months of unemployment that followed, and Lily stopped getting all her favorite healthy foods for lunch each day.
Sadly, Lily isn’t alone. Many people who lost their jobs last year are still working to recover. Now, rising food costs are making it even harder for families to get by—and kids like Lily aren’t getting enough of the fresh and nutritious food they need. Our partner agencies in communities across the state report that lines are getting longer as the number of our neighbors needing assistance increases, with no end in sight. Utahns accustomed to being the ones helping others are finding themselves in need of a helping hand as the rising cost of items like food and gas takes a brutal swipe at budgets.
Utah Food Bank is not alone in feeling the strain. “We are seeing our numbers go up, and we’re seeing them go up across the country. It’s not just here in Utah,” Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO explained. “Many families hit hard by COVID-19 are still struggling in 2022, and now they have to deal with inflation and higher costs as well. It’s almost a double-whammy. They didn’t really have a chance to get back on their feet, and then, all of the sudden, you’re paying $5 for gas, you’re paying 30 to 40 percent more for an item as simple as eggs, and the budget doesn’t go up, but everything else does.”
It’s not a mystery why so many are struggling, but there’s something you can do to help. With your gift today, you can provide healthy food to kids like Lily—and their families. A child doesn’t understand why there’s not always enough food at home. Or why their parents don’t eat dinner with them at night. But they know what hunger feels like.
Utah Food Bank is committed to helping feed kids facing hunger in our communities with filling and nutrient-rich foods. But we can’t do it without you. Please send what you can today to provide healthy food and meals to children facing hunger in our communities. Every $1 you give will provide $8.71 worth of goods and services.