Amidst the approaching Halloween festivities, there’s a chilling fear that many of our neighbors face – the fear of not having enough to eat. The haunting worry of not knowing if you can provide for your family can keep you up at night. The harsh truth is that insufficient access to nutritious food can cast a dark shadow over every aspect of life for those experiencing food insecurity. Sadly, this is the grim reality for many of our fellow Utahns, especially our families.
Child poverty in the United States has surged, more than doubling compared to 2021, and Utah is not immune to this concerning trend. This troubling situation unfolded in part due to the expiration of pandemic-related benefits while inflation continued to rise. This dual challenge has left many fellow Utahns struggling with tighter food budgets and facing impossible choices.
Because of these difficulties, Utah Food Bank is experiencing a heightened demand for food distribution, underscoring the critical need for collective action in our state. Furthermore, many donors have less income available for charitable contributions as they experience similar inflationary pressures.
But here’s the not-so-scary news: you can make a difference! This Halloween, as you select candy to share with the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood, why not also consider adding some essential food items to your shopping list? By doing so, you can provide your Utah neighbors facing food insecurity with the assurance that comes from a full stomach and a well-stocked pantry. If you’re a Harmons shopper, you can conveniently drop off your donations at any of their locations, at one of our 230 partner agencies across the state or our warehouses.
Uncertain about what to purchase? Begin by thinking about what your own family enjoys eating. Chances are that your neighbors facing food insecurity will appreciate similar food items. Our most-needed food items include staples like peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned meats (such as tuna, chicken and spam), chili, SpaghettiOs, ravioli, canned fruits and vegetables, and boxed meals. It’s even better if these items are low in sodium or sugar and contain all-natural ingredients.
Remember, your generosity can have a substantial impact on the lives of those in need, right here in Utah. Together, we can ensure that Halloween isn’t just a season of scares but also a time of compassion and community support in our state. Consider a gift of food, time or money to help our neighbors have one less fear this month.