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Stay up to date on all the exciting happenings at the Utah Food Bank.

It’s national Hunger Action Month, when Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks draw attention to the issue of hunger with the goal of creating a movement throughout September that has a real and lasting impact on the issue of hunger in our communities. Here are some great ways you can take action this month to show your commitment to helping the 392,000 Utahns, and 1 in 6 children, who face hunger in Utah.

  • Get your gift matched! Help us reach our goal of raising enough funds to reach 20,000 meals by taking advantage of this opportunity. Just click HERE to donate and your gift will be matched (up to $5,000).
  • Register for our H.A.M. It Up Against Hunger Race on September 29 in St. George. All proceeds from this family-friendly 5K will benefit our work in Southern Utah!
  • Take a photo or selfie of yourself holding an empty plate and tell us what you can’t do on an empty stomach by completing this sentence: “On an empty stomach, I can’t ____”. Tag us in your post and we will do our best to share it, and be sure to use the #HungerActionMonth hashtag! Check out the examples below!
  • Start a Facebook Fundraiser and tell all your friends and family about it!
  • Consider sharing a video about hunger in Utah, whether it’s a story about one of our clients or our “Carrots” TV commercial, it’s a great reminder that hunger is all around us.

Thank you for your support and for taking action to help us continue our mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide! Happy Hunger Action Month!

Empty Plates Social Media Campaign

 

 


This year’s “Foodstruction” was a huge hit, and we can’t thank Salt Lake County Health Department enough for organizing it! If you are wondering what “Foodstruction” means, it’s essentially constructing sculptures out of food, and these amazing works of art were on display at several local library locations earlier this month. As an added bonus, the groups who participated not only donated all this food to us, but healthy food items were the primary focus! Here’s a list of the participating donors/builders and what their structures were!

  • University of Utah Health – AirMed Replica (with moving propeller blades – People’s Choice Winner!)
  • Real Salt Lake – Leo the Lion
  • Hughes General Contractors – “Feed Your Brain”
  • CHG Healthcare – Logo with Heart
  • SelectHealth – Minions
  • University of Utah Health Plans – Pacman
  • USU Extension – Healthy Plate

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, talents and food for this fun community event! After all these works of art were dismantled and brought to our building (along with donations from the public who attended), it will turn into the equivalent of over 13,000 meals for Utahns facing hunger!

Foodstruction


When Utah Food Bank began our Summer Business Food & Fund Drive, we approached Fidelity Investments® and asked them to move their traditional holiday food drive over to this critical time of need. They were one of the first businesses to participate because the idea that kids who are out of school lose access to school meals really struck a nerve with their local employees and leadership. Though this food drive has seen many changes in format, Fidelity’s commitment to helping the hungry has never wavered.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of our partnership. It has grown exponentially. What started in 1993 as an employee food drive collecting 800 lbs. of food has now become a fund drive that resulted in over $171,000 this year from local employees—that’s the equivalent of over 637,000 meals! Traditionally, 25th anniversaries are celebrated with gifts of silver, and that’s a lot of “silver” cans of food for the 392,000 Utahns facing hunger!

 

Utah Food Bank’s President & CEO, Ginette Bott, attributes Fidelity’s success to a variety of factors: “Their top-to-bottom organizational support has resulted in a service-oriented culture that truly grasps the magnitude of need in our state. Hunger knows no season, and it seems, neither does the dedication of Fidelity’s local employees. I truly value their incredible 25-year partnership and commitment to Fighting Hunger Statewide.”

 

Utah Food Bank asks for three things: food, time and money. In addition to Fidelity’s long-term financial support, which has amounted to more than $1.5 million since 2006, they have donated over 1.8 million pounds of food and approximately 1,300 volunteer hours since 1994.

 

Reed Wellman, Fidelity’s Regional Co-Leader, said the bond between Fidelity and Utah Food Bank is as important to Fidelity employees as it is to the charity organization: “Our employees genuinely look forward to the Summer Business Food and Fund Drive, not only to help our fellow Utahns, but also to lead by example and show other Utah companies that fundraising can be fun and a great team-building activity,” said Wellman. “At Fidelity, we’re passionate about making a difference in the communities where we live and work. Helping organizations like the Utah Food Bank that do the same is part of how we accomplish that mission.”

We are incredibly grateful for this long-term partnership, and marvel at their commitment to our mission. Their story serves as proof that when you commit to a cause and stick with it, you can truly change lives!

Fidelity Investments Donation


Progrexion and their associated brands have been hosting Summer Business Food & Fund Drives since 2012. You’ll often hear us ask for three things: food, time and money—Progrexion supports us in all three areas. In addition to financial support, they send their employees to volunteer on a regular basis and also host food drives in their offices.

Since Progrexion began their partnership with us in 2012, they have donated the equivalent of close to 964,000 meals and their employees have spent 694 hours volunteering for us. Their phenomenal success is due in part to their innovative ways of approaching community giving. They have found what does and doesn’t work when asking their 2,000+ employees to all rally in the fight against hunger. Because their employees come from a broad range of backgrounds and span a broad range of job duties, they provide multiple ways to engage allowing everyone to feel comfortable participating in some way. Here are just some of the fun ways they are driving participation this year:

  • Giving Wall: inspired by the campaigns you often see in grocery stores, employees can sign their name on a “Progrexion Buck” and tape it to the wall. This has created great buzz amongst their staff because people want to see their names on the wall next to their peers.
  • Carnival Games: They host a weekly carnival game on each floor to offer a fun way to encourage cash donations. Each game is focused around using a $1 bill to participate, such as their Airplane To$$, in which employees made paper planes out of $1 bills. The employee whose airplane flew the furthest on each floor received a “Golden Food Can,” essentially a trophy made of a can of food painted gold with their logo on it. It’s amazing to see just how much bragging rights can create some healthy competition!
  • Executive Match: More traditional in nature, their executive team has agreed to match employee donations. Less traditionally, as a motivation tool, the employees have to hit a certain amount before this match kicks in and the match is coming out of the Executive Team’s pocket!
  • Partner and Vendor Donations: Progrexion works with many partners and vendors and have reached out to them to see if they are willing to help. They have seen great success with this tactic for several years now because their vendors want to do what’s necessary to keep their business!
  • Dress Down: Employees in certain functions can purchase “dress-down” days by donating. This is always a popular way to get employees in an office setting to participate!
  • Alignment with Guiding Values: Progrexion’s six Core Guiding Values focus on strong company performance, personal development, working as a team and helping those in need. Because of this, community impact is at the heart of their culture and events such as the Summer Fund & Food truly resonate with their employees!

We hope these ideas are something your business may be able to apply to this year’s food and fund drive, or any that you may host in the future! Remember, our Summer Business Food & Fund Drive runs through the end of August, so there is still plenty of time to organize and host a food and fund drive in your workplace. Summer is the most critical time of need, and just like hunger, businesses don’t take a summer break. Thank you to Progrexion for your continued support and we can’t wait to see this year’s results!

     


One thing that people are often surprised about is that we distribute food to partner agencies and through direct service programs in all 29 counties in Utah, not just the Wasatch Front.  In fact, we have 149 partner agencies across the state, in addition to a second warehouse in St. George. Our Southern Distribution Center is crucial in reaching Utahns facing hunger in the seven southernmost counties, and even just across the border in some communities in northern Arizona.

 

Food insecurity and poverty levels in rural areas often exceed those of urban areas, and in some counties those statistics are worse than national averages. While the statewide average is 1 in 8 Utahns facing hunger, the average for our southern counties hovers closer to 1 in 6 individuals who face hunger. To combat hunger in these areas, we deploy a variety of tactics including Mobile Pantries, Mobile School Pantries, Emergency Food Assistance and more.  In addition, our Southern Distribution Center partners with 18 local grocery retailers as part of our statewide Grocery Rescue Program, which helps provide fresh food that is nearing its expiration date but still healthy to eat.

 

We also host special events to help draw attention to the issue of hunger in Southern Utah, including our H.A.M. It Up Against Hunger Race, presented by SkyWest Airlines. This year’s fourth annual event will help commemorate national Hunger Action Month, and will be held on September 29, 2018, at Crosby Confluence Park in St. George. It’s a family-friendly 5K with all proceeds directly benefiting our work in the area, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word if you or anyone you know is in the area!

 

Fighting hunger across such a large service area with such varying needs and capabilities can be a daunting task, but we are committed to continuing distribute food free-of-charge to our partner agencies. We know that without our partnerships, we’d never be able to reach the 392,000 Utahns facing hunger!


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