COVID-19 created a massive increase in food insecurity across the state. Utah Food Bank is continuing to see a significant increase in the need for assistance at all program and partner agency sites.
MOBILE PANTRY PROGRAM EXPANSION
Mobile Pantries have proven to be a very efficient and effective tool in responding to the sharp increase in need across the state. Last year, we served 775,855 individuals through this program, an increase of 18% over the previous year. In fact, at the end of April 2020, we provided an emergency food distribution at the Maverik Center where we served more than 5,000 families, impacting more than 29,000 individuals. This is the largest distribution we have ever done.
KIDS CAFE MEAL DISTRIBUTIONS
With widespread school closures, our Kids Cafe after-school meals couldn’t be served, not to mention the missed school breakfasts and lunches for many children. We worked with local communities and Salt Lake School District to distribute bagged meals to help replace these missed meals when schools closed early in the spring. Since the beginning of the summer, we have served over 330,000 meals through our Summer Feeding Program.
ADDITIONAL POUNDAGE DISTRIBUTION
In addition to expanding programs and re-tooling methods of distribution to respect social distance protocols, we have also increased the amount of product we are distributing to our statewide network of 203 partner agencies. Preliminary results show that we distributed 72.2 million pounds of food last year, the equivalent of 60.2 million meals. This reflects a 19.2 million pound increase over the previous year. We expect to continue to see increased distribution for quite some time to come.
HOW TO HELP
Financial support is our top priority right now. Since each $1 donated equals $8.03 worth of goods and services, every donation can truly impact the lives of Utahns facing hunger.
If you are in need of food assistance, please visit our partner agency list to find resources in your area. We recommend calling before you go to confirm their hours of operation given these uncertain times.
- You can also visit our Mobile Pantry calendar to find mobile distributions near you.
- You can also call United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline or text your zip code to 898-211 for a list of resources in your area.
Thank you for your support during these uncertain times!