News

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

For the past decade, Utah Food Bank hosted our Night at the Warehouse gala at our Salt Lake City warehouse. It has always been a wonderful tradition featuring dinner, live and silent auctions, and more. It has also always been a successful fundraising event, bringing in approximately $150,000 yearly to support our programs. This year, so much in the world has changed that our Night at the Warehouse gala had to undergo some changes as well.  Night NOT at the Warehouse will be held as an online auction from August 10 through August 15, culminating with a live online event at 6:00 PM on August 15.

 

While we will miss the in-person aspect of our gala, one benefit of an online auction is we aren’t limited by space. That means anyone can participate, from the comfort and safety of your own home – and we will still have the same exciting items available to bid on, so you can snag some fabulous things while helping out a great cause! 

 

Before COVID-19, 374,000 Utahns were facing food insecurity, with 1 in 7 Utah kids unsure where their next meal was coming from. The pandemic has only increased that number, with an estimated 165,000 more Utahns needing food assistance, many for the first time. The sudden rise in need has brought with it extraordinary hurdles, including the need for a higher volume of food distribution, which increases distribution costs, all with fewer people to do the work since our warehouse has been closed to volunteers.

 

Just as the need for assistance and associated costs have grown, we have had several fund and food raising events canceled or postponed, so we are pleased to be able to adapt our Gala into a Night NOT at the Warehouse, and continue the tradition, albeit in a different format.

 

Signing up is simple! Find step by step instructions here. You can preview our auction items now, but bidding won’t open until August 10. Keep checking back because we will be adding exciting items as we get closer. 

 

We are also offering two exciting Opportunity Drawings with tickets available for just $25 each, and you can start purchasing your tickets for these NOW! Purchase as many tickets as you’d like, but ticket sales will close on Friday, August 14 at 5:00 PM. We will draw our lucky winners during our live online event starting at 6:00 PM on Saturday, August 15, but you don’t need to be tuned in to win.

 

The finale of our auction will be an online live event. Join us for an update from Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO, about the surge in need due to COVID-19, and how we’ve adjusted our operations in response. Immediately following her remarks, stay tuned for a virtual paddle raise to support our COVID-19 relief efforts.

Register for our Live Online Event!

Saturday, August 15   |  6:00pm – 7:00pm

All donations made during the online event will be matched up to $25,000!

 


How do you do a food drive in a time of social distancing?

In the past, Utah Food Bank has received significant food donations from traditional food drives through community organizations, local businesses, churches, schools, and more. With large gatherings reduced, and so many of these services not happening right now, most food drives are also not happening right now. While we still readily accept donations of food, we know that – especially now with COVID-19 – it’s not always easy to collect canned goods and pantry staples from friends, family, and colleagues.

At the same time, there has been an increase in need, as many families are dealing with an extra-long summer with no school meals and the challenge of unexpected job loss. If you’re interested in Fighting Hunger Statewide and bringing hope to fellow Utahns facing food insecurity, a Virtual Food Drive is an excellent way to provide support while staying safe, as well as saving time and fuel.

Hosting a Virtual Food Drive saves you the hassle of moving heavy food drive boxes and allows Utah Food Bank to save on resources and get the most-needed items to hungry people. And when you raise cash instead of cans, we can use our remarkable buying power to stretch your donations further than you might think!

With no shopping, no lines, and no lifting, a Virtual Food Drive allows you to “shop” for our most-needed items, plus cover related transportation costs. You can donate as an individual or create a team, and get friends, coworkers, and family involved!  Since you’re “shopping” from home, you can make an impact and help support your community, all without worrying about person-to-person contact.

Even if you can’t get together in person, a Virtual Food Drive is a fun way to come together and unite around a great cause. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and can easily be shared on social media. Families, businesses, church groups, alumni clubs, schools, soccer teams, fraternities, and weddings have all signed up as groups and created a little healthy competition to encourage donations. You can also sign up as an individual and challenge your friends and neighbors to match you.

You could even offer an incentive to participate, like one teen who offered to shave his head if his friends helped him reach his goal, which he blew out of the water! So get creative because the possibilities are unlimited!

Click here to get started now!

 


Many are familiar with the anecdote Mr. Rogers once shared “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It is a beautiful piece of advice to help children find comfort in uncertain times. Unfortunately, for many children, those times are now.

 

Before COVID-19, there were already 1 in 7 children facing food insecurity. Now, due to school closures and job loss, the number has almost certainly grown. The pain of hunger looms large for many. Add to that the fear of sickness, isolation from normal routine and interaction with friends, and loss of traditional group celebrations, and the level of grief and trauma can be devastating.

 

The good news is, there are helpers. While we can’t take this pandemic away, and the effects will be felt for a very long time, there are many on the frontlines offering assistance to those in need. Utah Food Bank is proud to be among those helpers and grateful to all those who have stepped up to partner with us.

 

From the huge effort of many in hosting our largest ever mobile food distribution to an anonymous donation match, and from the generosity of people and organizations, both large and small, to the day-in-day-out work of volunteers and employees across the state, to kids setting up neighborhood lemonade stands and food drives, the response has been swift and overwhelmingly positive.

 

We are proud to say when children look for helpers, they can find us. So if you are looking for a way to help, please consider joining us in Fighting Hunger Statewide.

 

If you need food assistance, call 2-1-1 to find help near you, or find more information here.

 


At Utah Food Bank, we love numbers! Statistics keep us focused. They remind us that 1 in 7 Utah children don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That 374,000 fellow Utahns face insecurity. Numbers help us know we’re on the right track. We loved sharing that we delivered 14.4 million pounds of food between March 1st and May 31st, 2.5 million pounds more than the same period last year! It was fun to crunch the numbers and figure out that that amount of food would fill 1,107 semi-trucks, which, end-to-end, would stretch 15.3 miles. That’s longer than the distance of Salt Lake City, north to south!

But numbers are only part of the equation. It’s the faces behind the facts that keep us Fighting Hunger Statewide. It’s the stories, not the statistics, that keep us connected. And while we can’t collect and share every story, here are a few.

 

Lily

“I have adult-onset diabetes, which caused a stroke, so now I can’t see out of my left eye. Things are hard for me, and getting a job isn’t an option right now. I have 3 kids at home, so with my husband, there are 5 of us, and this food is a huge help – it has blessed the lives of so many. I am so glad that none of this fresh produce is going to waste – we even freeze some of the food, or can it, so that we can make it last longer. It’s risky for me to go out, my autoimmune problem is a big issue, and I could get this virus easily. I don’t go out very often, but I do come out to this. If I had a million dollars, I would make sure this program always continues. Thank you so much please keep it up!”

 

Katie

“I have 6 kids, and I homeschool them all. They have a lot of medical issues, so it’s hard for them to go to school because they get sick constantly. I found the mobile pantry about two years ago, and we’ve been volunteering and helping out ever since, as well as getting food. The other volunteers have all been here for a long time, and I love them, they’re like my family. Same for my kids, they love helping out when it’s safe. It’s good to get out and get involved…it’s fun. And any food we get that we don’t need doesn’t go to waste. I’m with a homeschooling group, and we go downtown and feed the homeless. We pay for it out-of-pocket, so the extra food helps a lot.”

 

Jalene

“I’ve been coming to the mobile pantry for close to a year, and it’s been helping us with groceries every week. I have 2 kids, and for a while, it was tough every week to get groceries. This has helped us with the essentials. Some of the food here is also helping us eat healthier because a lot of times it’s more expensive to buy healthy food. And it’s been helping us money-wise by helping us afford to pay our bills. Thank you so much! It has been an immense blessing to my family and my neighbors, because the food I don’t need I’ve been giving to them. So it’s been helping them, not just us.”

 

 

On behalf of Katie, Jalene, Lily, and the hundreds of thousands of other names behind our numbers, thank you for your continued support! If you would like to help today, please click here to donate.

 

 

 


No one expected schools to transition to at-home learning when they closed for Spring Break two months ago. This abrupt change caught countless families off guard. Kids home all day meant meals usually provided for free or reduced-price at school became an additional expense that many parents couldn’t afford. Those nine weeks of online learning added financial stress that only amplified the struggle many families have feeding their children all summer long.

Do you need help providing meals for your kids this summer? We are pleased to announce that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is once again sponsoring the Summer Food Service program. This will extend Utah Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program by providing up to 100,000 free meals to children 18 and under this summer. Meals will be offered at 28 drive-thru sites across the state.

 

For a complete list of Utah Food Bank-sponsored sites, please click HERE. We will be serving meals in the following counties: Davis, Salt Lake, San Juan, Utah, and Washington. For a list of all summer meal programs across the state, please click HERE. 

 

You can also text “FOOD” to 877-877 for resources near you. This is a free texting service that will prompt you to enter your address or zip code to receive the location and service times of up to three nearby summer meal sites.

 


Call To Action Icon

Hunger Is All Around Us. Help us make a difference.

Education & awareness help us fight hunger.

Check Stats Give Money