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

While many children look forward to summer break for fun and games, it’s a different story for 1 in 10 Utah kids. Instead of packing for sleep-away camp, they worry about where their next meal will come from when school’s out. Without school meal programs, many families find themselves stretched thin, struggling to provide meals on already tight budgets. It’s tough going for our most vulnerable, chronically hungry students, who might have little to nothing to eat at home during those long summer months. Parents will skip meals, and children will go without all the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers food insecurity to be an economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Hunger, on the other hand, is an individual-level physiological condition that can result from food insecurity,

To help fill the summer meal gap, Utah Food Bank is again stepping up to help by extending our Kids Cafe Program. Through the Summer Food Service Program, we’re offering free meals to kids 18 and younger at various locations such as parks, libraries, and community centers.

One parent shared, “Groceries are expensive. It’s harder to afford healthy things; we’re just buying less and trying to find the things on sale. If it’s not on sale, we don’t get it.” Hearing stories like this is why Utah Food Bank works hard to ensure every kid, regardless of their family’s financial situation, has access to essential, nourishing meals.

This summer, we’re aiming big: over 428,000 meals served at 80 locations across several counties! From breakfast to supper, many sites will offer meals every day of the week. This summer we are also introducing Multi-Day Sites which provide weekly meal kits (7 breakfasts + 7 lunches) on designated days.

Just remember, kids must be present to receive their meals.

If you or someone you know needs help finding a meal site near you, simply text “FOOD” to 304-304. This free service will give you the location and times of up to three nearby summer meal sites. Meals will be provided from May 28 to August 19, but check our website for exact dates— as they vary depending on location!

Please consider supporting efforts to fight hunger in Utah. Whether you donate food, time, or money, every bit helps make a difference. Click HERE to give now! Let’s make sure every child in Utah has a full belly and a summer filled with joy!

*All sites will be closed for Juneteenth (6/19), Independence Day (7/4), and Pioneer Day (7/24).

 


Letter carriers and hunger share a common trait: they both persist regardless of the season. With 1 in 10 Utah children experiencing the uncertainty of where their next meal is coming from, and 317,000 Utahns at risk of missing a meal today, the statewide Stamp Out Hunger® food drive on Saturday, May 11th remains as critical as ever.

This food drive, a national initiative now in its 32nd year, offers Utahns a convenient way to support food-insecure neighbors. Participation is simple: keep an eye out for a blue reminder bag in your mailbox this week and fill it with non-perishable food items (such as canned meats, peanut butter, boxed meals, and canned fruits and vegetables—no glass items, please), and place it next to your mailbox for pickup by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 11th.

On Saturday, letter carriers will collect bags of food donations left on doorsteps across the state, transporting them to local post offices where Utah Food Bank staff and volunteers will be on hand to receive the contributions. Collected donations will then be distributed to food pantries in your area.

Stamp Out Hunger plays a vital role in replenishing the shelves of emergency food pantries statewide, particularly during this period of heightened demand as schools close for the summer break and many children lose access to meal programs, further straining already tight budgets.

Those unable to have their donations collected can drop them off at Utah Food Bank’s warehouses or Harmons. For those preferring to support financially, donations can be made at utahfoodbank.org, where every $1 donated can be stretched to provide $8.36 worth of goods and services.

Post Offices in Midvale, Northwest, and Riverton urgently need volunteers to support Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday, May 11th to help unload and pre-sort food. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old and capable of moderate lifting. For more information and to sign up, contact [email protected].

The annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive is nationally sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers, in collaboration with the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the United States Postal Service. Both in Utah and nationwide, this initiative has provided millions of meals for individuals facing hunger.


Spring Break is often a time of relaxation and a chance for families to unwind and escape the stresses of school. However, for many Utah children, this break from school also means a break from the reliable food they receive through school meal programs. As families struggle to provide additional meals on already tight budgets, childhood hunger becomes even more pronounced during this time. 

The consequences of childhood hunger are severe and far-reaching. Children who experience food insecurity are more likely to face physical, emotional, and developmental challenges, impacting their ability to learn and succeed in school. 

In Utah, 10% of children statewide face hunger and the stress it brings. However, this percentage differs across the state’s regions. Specifically, in the southern and central areas where our Southern Distribution Center and Timpanogos Distribution Center operate, the rate of childhood hunger increases to 13%. In San Juan County, where we’ve established our new Southeastern Distribution Center, the percentage climbs to an alarming 20%. These figures emphasize the critical need for immediate action to tackle food insecurity statewide. 

At Utah Food Bank, we are committed to fighting childhood hunger through various programs.  

Our Mobile School Pantry program provides much-needed food distribution points for children and their families on a monthly basis at the end of the school day during the school year.  

Similarly, the Kids Cafe program offers evening meals to children at risk of hunger, providing food in a safe space for educational and recreational activities. Last year alone, the Kids Cafe program provided over 366,000 meals to children, demonstrating its significant impact on combating childhood hunger. 

As schools close for summer break, we offer the Summer Food Service Program, an extension of our Kids Cafe program. These free meals are available for youth up to the age of 18, at sites throughout Utah often located at libraries, parks, and even splash pads to allow kids to get out of the house, unplug, and play while also enjoying a nutritious free meal. Check back for more information.  

Addressing childhood hunger requires a collective effort to help keep the pantry and distribution centers stocked throughout Utah. Hosting a food drive or a fundraiser is a great way to support Utahns facing hunger. Individuals can also support their communities by volunteering at one of our many warehouses or one of our 245 partner agencies. By coming together to support these initiatives, we can ensure that fewer children go to bed hungry, not just during Spring Break, but every day of the year. 

If you or someone you know is facing food insecurity, call 2-1-1 Information and Referral to learn about resources in your local community that can help meet your needs, or click here to get help. 

Hunger doesn’t take a break, and neither can we. Don’t wait; take action today. 

 


On March 16th, faith-based congregations, organizations, and residents across Utah are teaming up with Utah Food Bank for the third annual statewide Feed Utah to support our mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide. This food drive is crucial to help restock quickly emptying shelves, and we are asking for everyone’s help!

It’s easy to get involved! Be on the lookout for red and white door hangers at your home this week.  Fill any bag or box with non-perishable food donations and leave them near your front door before 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 16th, for pick-up. Most-needed food items include canned meats (beef stew, chili), peanut butter, boxed meals, chili, and canned fruits and vegetables.

Your donations will be picked up by local volunteers and church organizations starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and delivered to Utah Food Bank and partner agencies.

Drop-off locations include Utah Food Bank’s Salt Lake, Springville, Blanding, and St. George warehouses, all Macey’s Grocery and Lin’s locations throughout Utah, and participating pantry locations. For all Feed Utah donation drop-off site locations, please click HERE.

Governor Spencer Cox has officially declared March 16, 2024, as “Feed Utah Day” to raise awareness of this crucial cause.

“Think about your children’s classroom with maybe 25 students, and the idea that potentially three of them will struggle with hunger throughout the week. And it’s unacceptable,” said Gov. Spencer Cox.

Your contributions will help feed the estimated 317,000 Utahns and 1 in 10 Utah kids facing food insecurity.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Leave your donations outside your front door by 9:00 a.m. on March 16th.
  • Most-needed items include canned meats, peanut butter, boxed meals, and canned fruits and vegetables. Remember, donated items should be non-perishable, commercially packaged, nutritious, and please, no glass items.
  • Scan the QR code on the door hangers to donate funds or do so directly online HERE.
  • Sign up to volunteer to help receive food donations on March 16th  HERE.

Ginette Bott, President & CEO of Utah Food Bank, emphasizes the ongoing need for support as we prepare for one of the hungriest summers yet.

Your participation matters. Let’s show our support for our neighbors who are unsure of where their next meal will come from. Together, we can make Feed Utah 2024 a huge success! For further information, click HERE.


Amidst remarks and traditional Navajo Blessings, two ribbon-cutting ceremonies unfolded, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the fight against hunger statewide. We are thrilled to announce the opening of two new pantries, each spanning an impressive 4,000 square feet, strategically located in Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley, on the Navajo Nation.  

These pantries will be supported by Utah Food Bank Southeastern Distribution Center in Blanding, which includes an attached 1,800-square-foot pantry. Our SEDC warehouse has refrigerator and freezer space, a critical addition aimed at increasing the availability of fresh food in the area. 

The decision to expand services was driven by the pressing need within the Navajo Nation. Classified as a food desert, residents often faced daunting journeys of several hours to access basic food resources. In San Juan County, rates of hunger surpass the state average, with childhood hunger being particularly prevalent. The statistics highlight the urgency of our commitment to this multi-pronged expansion project. 

The opening of these pantries signifies more than just access to food; it symbolizes a lifeline for communities long grappling with food insecurity. By creating job and volunteer opportunities within the pantries, we are not only providing essential resources but also empowering individuals to contribute meaningfully to their communities. This initiative promises stability and reliability in operating hours, a welcome change for many. 

“I have always had to drive across three state lines just to buy a loaf of bread,” – said a San Juan county resident in attendance.

These facilities are set to become crucial resources for residents facing food insecurity in the southeastern region and will be open to the public in the coming weeks. As we commemorate this significant occasion, let us remember that the journey towards Fighting Hunger Statewide is ongoing. With each pantry opened and each meal provided, we take a step closer to realizing that vision. Together, we embrace the promise of a brighter, more nourished tomorrow. 


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