Food Collection & Distribution

Utah Food Bank staff, volunteers and agencies work together to gather and distribute emergency food to individuals and families experiencing the pain of hunger in Utah. The organization started in 1904 and, since 1977, Utah Food Bank has been the central hub for food collection and distribution in Utah. Our resources include two large warehouses, a transportation fleet, and our valuable affiliation with Feeding America. With these resources, Utah Food Bank is able to collect, store and distribute millions of pounds of food to the entire state of Utah.

Food Collection

Utah Food Bank gathers food through a variety of means:

  • Food Drives (5%): Utah Food Bank collects about 5% of its food items from community food drives, coordinated statewide with local agencies. More than two million pounds of food is collected from annual drives.
  • Grocery Rescue (34%): Building partnerships with local grocers has allowed us to receive needed food items that are nearing expiration dates. This highly effective and fast-growing program increases access to perishable foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. Last year, the Grocery Rescue program collected over 13 million pounds of food through over 232 stores. Learn More
  • Local Commercial Donations (23%): Local commercial food distributors include growers, manufacturers and retailers. The donated food may consist of seasonal, surplus, discontinued items, or food in damaged containers.
  • National Commercial (17%): As a member of Feeding America, Utah Food Bank has access to food items made available from national vendors, producers and other food banks in the United States. Pickups provide many food resources at the cost of shipping only.
  • Government Commodities (17%): Utah Food Bank is a distributor of USDA commodities allotted for programs and agencies that provide emergency food assistance to Utah residents.
  • Purchasing (3%): On occasion, the Utah Food Bank purchases needed food items for distribution to fill gaps in the food that we receive through other donation sources.

Food Distribution

Last year, Utah Food Bank distributed 37.5 million pounds of food - the equivalent of over 31 million meals. Utah Food Bank distributes food through a variety of methods:

  • Emergency Food Network: Food is sorted in the Utah Food Bank warehouse and then distributed throughout the state to more than 140 emergency food pantries, agencies, churches, senior centers and after-school programs. Find your local food pantry here.
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): CSFP gives thousands of low-income Utahns access to healthy food. As part of the program, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ships items directly to Utah Food Bank, including canned fruits, canned vegetables, cold cereals and bottled juice. Eligibility is based on age, income and state residency. For more information please call 2-1-1.
  • Kids Cafe: The Kids Cafe program provides free meals and snacks at after-school programs. Sites include Boys & Girls Clubs, public schools, and community centers. Each weekday, Utah Food Bank's in-house chef prepares more than 1,800 meals for children who might not eat until the following morning.
  • BackPack Program: Through this program Utah Food Bank provides packages of nutritious, nonperishable food to many Utah schools. A designated school employee will load packs of food into children's backpacks at the end of every week to help sustain children during weekends when they lack access to school meal programs. The children return the backpack on Mondays, and it is refilled and distributed to them again for the next weekend.
  • Mobile Pantry: The Mobile Food Pantry program distributes food such as fresh produce, dairy products, deli products, and non-perishables to low-income neighborhoods throughout the state of Utah.

Your Contribution Makes a Difference

Utah Food Bank can turn a $1 donation into $7.35 of goods and services. This is made possible by wonderful volunteer support, generous food donations, incredible transportation partners, our Grocery Rescue program and our purchasing power. To make a donation, click here.