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

The 2019 college football season culminated with a donation of more than 40,000 pounds of protein by Smithfield Foods, Inc. and the Utah Pork Producers Association to  Utah Food Bank in partnership with Utah State University, Brigham Young University (BYU) and the Fredette Family Foundation.

The donation, equivalent to more than 160,000 servings of protein, was made possible through a special program that turned each point the Aggies and Cougars scored into a donation of 25 pounds of pork by Smithfield and the UPPA to help fight hunger in local communities. The teams finished the season with a total of 675 points, or 16,875 pounds of pork, which Smithfield more than doubled for a total donation of 40,000 pounds.

“It’s truly inspiring to see student athletes uniting to give back to the communities they’re a part of,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “On behalf of Smithfield Foods and the entire Utah pork industry, we are honored to work with organizations that share the similar mission of helping Americans become more food secure, especially here in a community we call home.”

Players from both teams volunteered at the Utah Food bank, but instead of forming an offensive or defensive line, they came together and formed a food line to help unload the pork-filled truck and stock the food bank’s shelves.

“We are beyond grateful for this donation and the difference it will make in our community,” said Ginette Bott, President & CEO of Utah Food Bank. “Thousands of men, women and children look to us to provide food for their next meal and this donation helps make that possible.”

This event comes a week after two other major donations in Florida and Arkansas as part of Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes® tour, the company’s signature hunger-relief initiative. In the past two weeks alone, Smithfield has donated more than 110,000 pounds of protein to communities in need and will continue its efforts to fight hunger by providing donations to dozens of communities across America throughout the year. Since the inception of their Helping Hungry Homes program®, Smithfield has donated more than 145 million servings of protein to food-insecure residents in all 50 states around the U.S.

“Coming together as a community plays a crucial role in our efforts to strengthen families,” said J. Blair Giles, President and CEO of the Fredette Family Foundation. “We are so glad to work with Smithfield and other like-minded organizations to impact people’s lives in meaningful and personal ways and are proud of the student-athletes who have given so much to bring this initiative to life.”

Smithfield Foods


Utah’s tech industry is booming, but 1 in 8 Utahns aren’t getting their most basic needs met – one of those being food. Silicon Slopes Serves is rallying Utah’s tech companies, and the larger community as a whole, to pack 1 million meals for Utah Food Bank at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit on January 30 and 31, held at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City. Made possible by the partnerships with BrainStorm, JustServe and Hunger Fight, along with generous donations from participating Silicon Slopes community members and Latter-day Saint Charities, the meals will aim to help feed the 1 in 7 Utah children who face hunger.

Whether or not you are a conference attendee, you can still be a part of this monumental initiative by signing up to volunteer at the event for an hour (or two) anytime between 12:00 – 7:00pm on Thursday 1/30 or Friday 1/31 using this link. Please note that this volunteer opportunity is located at the Salt Palace, not our warehouse. Invite your friends, family or coworkers to join Utah’s tech industry to pack healthy, easy-to-prepare meals that we will distribute from childhood hunger programs, including our Mobile School Pantry program.

Donors for the initiative include: Kristin and Jeremy Andrus, BrainStorm, Domo, Four Foods Group (Mo’ Bettahs, Swig and R&R BBQ) , Health Catalyst, Lendio, LHM Group, MX, SaltStack, Monica and Aaron Skonnard, Lisa and Karl Sun, Qualtrics and additional support from Latter-day Saint Charities. 

Thank you for your support!

Silicon Slopes Serves


Debi worked her whole life, and was making great money while managing multi-family housing, when her world crashed. She used to be quite an athlete on top of it, participating on local roller derby teams. She was loving life, until at age 42, she went to roller derby practice and her legs just wouldn’t move. After many doctor visits, she was diagnosed with Lupus, which 10 years later has turned into multiple other disabling health issues. At age 53, she is confined to a wheelchair and on oxygen 24 hours a day. She can hardly walk, and falls over if she stands up too long. Debi has undergone over 60 surgeries, so her medical bills are astounding.

Her age means she doesn’t qualify for assistance through Meals on Wheels or Medicare, and her disability check for $1,600 a month means she doesn’t qualify for other food assistance such as SNAP benefits. When you take out rent, utilities and medication, there’s not much left for food. The only program she qualifies for is Utah Food Bank’s Food Box Program because she is homebound and disabled. This monthly food box has been a lifeline for Debi, and it means she always has bread and peanut butter, even if she has nothing else.

According to Debi, “I am pretty educated about food, so I can usually combine the ingredients to make something. Sometimes I cut the cheese in half to freeze, and put half a loaf of bread in the freezer, because it’s just me and that way I can make it last longer. The frozen fruit has been great to add to protein smoothies that my doctor has asked me to drink, and I don’t waste anything and am always willing to share if I have extra.”

Debi says that not working drives  her crazy. In fact she has changed her schedule so she sleeps during the day and stays up at night because that way she doesn’t have to see so many people being productive and going places because that just makes her feel worse.

“Each time I get the food, it means I am going to be okay for another few weeks. One time I was so hungry that I just opened up a can of fruit and ate it straight out of the can. It really brightens my day when the boxes come and they have been decorated by the kids…it’s just so sweet,” says Debi. “The volunteer who brings my food box even sometimes brings her son, and it melts my heart to see how excited he is about getting to help me.”

“I’m an example of someone who had a great life, but then one thing went wrong in my life and it’s never been the same. With my health issues, I know that it never will be the same again,” Debi states. “Anyone could find themselves in this situation, and I am so glad that there area amazing programs like this to help people. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”

If you would like to learn more about our Food Box Program, or are interested in volunteering to deliver boxes, please click HERE.

Client Story - Debi


Double your impact by giving an end-of-year gift to Utah Food Bank! Each online donation made between December 28-31 will be doubled up to $50,000, thanks to a matching grant made possible by generous friends of Utah Food Bank.


Every gift to help us support families struggling with hunger will be DOUBLED.

With your doubled gift, we can provide twice as many meals for kids at our Mobile School Pantries. Twice as many meals delivered to homebound seniors and disabled clients. Twice as many holiday meals for families in our communities.

374,000 Utahns don’t know where their next meal is coming from. 1 in 7 children might go to bed hungry tonight. These statistics illustrate the magnitude of the hunger, but with supporters like you, we can fill more tummies and continue fighting hunger statewide.


Please donate today.

Donation Match

 


374,000 Utahns do not have enough to eat. 1 in 7 Utah children is at risk of missing a meal. These statistics are startling, but for some of us, it may be hard to understand what it really looks like to be food insecure. One of our clients graciously shared what it’s like to be a mom when tough choices like paying for food or heat are a daily struggle.

Brittany and her husband live in Salt Lake with their two young boys. “It’s hard because I want to give my kids everything and be a good mom,” Brittany shared recently. “When I don’t have the options to give them healthy food or a traditional holiday dinner or ice cream for their birthday, it makes me feel bad.”

Both Brittany and her husband work multiple jobs to try to make ends meet. “My husband works full time in the financial industry. He has a college degree, but we are still living at the poverty level.” Brittany works as a manager at a movie theatre, makes and sells handicrafts and babysits in exchange for food. “It’s not a factor of being lazy – we don’t live off the government”.

“The other day I had my coat on in the house and I could not get warm. I went and checked the thermostat and it was 42 degrees in the house. I finally decided to turn the heat on because we are allowed to do things like that when we really need to because of the food we get from the Mobile Pantry. It sure was nice to turn it on!”

The Mobile Pantry has made a big impact on their daily living. “[Through the Mobile Pantry] we’d get a loaf of bread or chicken – things to help us survive. The things that make life comfortable, like turning on the heat, or a mop, or even having medicine to ease your child’s pain are things we’ve been able to do thanks to the help we receive from the Mobile Pantry.”

All parents want to give their children these “little luxuries” like ice cream on their birthday or keeping a house warm in the winter. But even without all of those things, Brittany shines with positivity and gratitude, “Life is still wonderful and beautiful, but it would be nice to have more. The Mobile Pantry has given us that.”

When you donate food, time or money to Utah Food Bank, you are helping parents like Brittany and her husband make sure their children have enough to eat. And there are families just like Brittany’s living in every county in Utah. Please consider a gift of food, time or money this season and help us fight hunger statewide. UtahFoodBank.org/holiday

Recipient Family

Click here to learn more about Brittany and her family’s story.


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