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Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO, aka “The Food Bank Lady,” has been awarded the Governor’s Career Humanitarian Award by the Utah Nonprofits Association. For better or worse, a leader influences the tone and vision of an entire organization. Fortunately, we are led in Fighting Hunger Statewide by a truly inspiring and dedicated humanitarian! Ginette is a passionate spokesperson for Utah Food Bank and a remarkable person to work for and with. We are delighted her hard work and advocacy was recognized for this award!

 
This award honors an outstanding individual who, over the course of their career, has demonstrated a unique propensity to work selflessly and with great passion for the promotion of human welfare and the advancement of social good within the State of Utah. Awardees are generally recognized leaders who inspire others to get involved for the betterment of their community and have had a career of 20+ years.

 
Ginette has had empathy and a desire to help those facing food insecurity since she was a young woman, having experienced hunger and received help to get through that challenging time. Throughout her professional life, Ginette has made the most of whatever means were available to her to ensure that other food-insecure people have access to the food assistance they need.

 
As Chief Development Officer and then President & CEO of Utah Food Bank, Ginette has significantly expanded and strengthened the state’s food assistance network. She led Utah Food Bank’s capital campaign, which provided a much more efficient workspace and expanded Utah Food Bank’s warehouse capabilities. With the support of a committed staff, she transformed a grassroots organization that distributed 22.4 million pounds of food in 2009 to a well-regarded and professional entity that provided 52.9 million pounds of food in 2020.

 
She also expanded Utah Food Bank’s Mobile School Pantry Program from one school to 85 schools in a period of four years. This growth is the result of her exceptional ability to communicate the importance of Utah Food Bank’s mission, both within and outside of the organization, her unfailing compassion for people in need, and her refusal to accept the status quo.

 
As the face of Utah Food Bank, Ginette has educated corporate, religious, and civic groups about the extent of hunger in our state and the impact hunger has on people’s lives. She asks audiences to give food, time, or money—and they respond. But her impact is much larger than this. Whether she is speaking to a broad audience through a mass media channel or chatting with a single person on the street, she has an extraordinary ability to create hunger advocates wherever she goes.

 
Ginette’s deeply held commitment to fighting hunger—and the central role it plays in her life—inspires others to do more for people in need of assistance. Without her ability to inspire, Utah Food Bank would not be able to reach the 1 in 5 Utah children who face hunger, and she certainly would not have become “The Food Bank Lady” to so many Utahns, who often stop her on the street to thank her for what she does. As a leader, her open heart and high expectations remind us daily of what we are working for and why. Please join us in congratulating Ginette!

 
Find out more about this award, and Ginette, here:


The Thanksgiving holiday was born during the height of the Civil War when President Abraham Lincoln designated the day to express appreciation for “the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.” The holiday looks different from family to family and culture to culture; for many, it means family time, way too much turkey and pie, and a lot of dishes to clean! Thanksgiving is a perfect time to consider all the good things in our lives and take the time to show appreciation for them.

While we’ve gone virtual this year, in years past our Utah Human Race has been held on Thanksgiving morning. The motto for the race is “Run with an Attitude of Gratitude,” but we invite you to think bigger – and live with an attitude of gratitude. One great way to do that is to think outside ourselves.

It can be stressful to plan a big meal and get together but the pandemic has created some extra challenges. Thanksgiving might even feel like it was canceled this year with travel and social gatherings limited. However, for the 511,000 Utahns facing food insecurity, including 1 in 5 children, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t the only meal that’s in danger. The stress and struggle to have sufficient food is a continuous challenge. The added expectations around Thanksgiving make it harder – it’s difficult to feel gratitude when you’re wondering how to feed your family.
 
Food insecurity is a looming threat to many of our neighbors. But together, we can fight it! When you give to Utah Food Bank each dollar grows to $8.03 worth of goods and services, and 96 cents of each dollar given goes directly to foods and services. We have 203 partner agencies across the state, as well as a variety of direct service programs, including Mobile School Pantries, Mobile Pantries, Kids Cafe programs, and food box programs. You can be confident that your donation is going right where it’s needed most – to fellow Utahns in need.
 

Here are a few ways you can give:

 

1) Join the Utah Human Race

Run here, run there, run anywhere! All the proceeds from our virtual race go to help fellow Utahns facing hunger. Register online and run or walk your 5K or 10K any time between now and November 27! You can make it a social event by starting a team or asking friends and family to support your efforts with a donation. When you sign up, you’ll get all the tools you’ll need to fundraise for your team, plus you’ll get a shirt in the mail. Registration closes on November 24 at 5 pm.

2) Participate in our Holiday Food & Fund Drive

You can help make the season brighter by hosting a food or fund drive in support of our annual Holiday Food & Fund Drive. Join hundreds of community groups and businesses statewide and help stock the shelves of Utah Food Bank and emergency food pantries across the state. Thanks to 107.3/94.9 New Country 12 in a Row, Chevron Refinery, Harmons, Riverton Chevrolet, and Wells Fargo for sponsoring this important effort! Hosting a virtual food drive is a great way to rally your network around fighting hunger while staying safe. You can fill a virtual shopping cart with the items we need most, all without stepping foot in a grocery store. Register as a team captain and encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to fill a virtual grocery cart for us!

3) Giving Tuesday Donation Match

Your donation will be matched up to $25,000 this Giving Tuesday (December 1), thanks to our generous friends at Delta Dental Community Care Foundation! Stay tuned and watch your email for more details!

There’s no better time than right now to get involved and make a difference! When you partner with Utah Food Bank by donating food, time, or money you show gratitude through giving, and by helping stock the cupboards of fellow Utahns, you are a catalyst for gratitude in others.

 


Food insecurity is often impossible to identify from the outside. It can look like a family with three kids who have a house and two cars. But from the inside, one parent got laid off due to COVID-19, and now they’re having trouble making ends meet on just one income. It can look like the senior couple on a fixed income who never had trouble paying bills, but now unexpected medical expenses have stretched their budget beyond their ability to keep up. Hunger can look like your neighbor, your friend, your family. Hunger can look like you.

 

Our new statistics are in, and the figures are startling. There are now over 511,000 Utahns facing food insecurity, including 1 in 5 children. Chances are you know someone unsure how they’re going to feed their family and pay their necessary bills. For many Utahns, this pandemic has been catastrophic.

 

Many of us have heard stories of the Great Depression and how difficult it was. The economic recession we are currently in due to the pandemic is just as bad, and the fall out will be long-lasting and incredibly challenging. Many are seeking food assistance that never needed it before and never expected to need help. It can be a scary process and produce feelings of humiliation and failure in those who are already struggling. There is no reason to feel ashamed for needing food assistance. We all need help sometimes, and that’s what Utah Food Bank is here to provide. We aim to do so in a way that helps people maintain a sense of dignity and worth.

 

Our mission is Fighting Hunger Statewide, and we strive to reach as many Utahns as possible, with 203 partner agencies, 40 mobile pantry sites, 85 mobile school pantry sites, and 106 active Kids Cafe programs. We have ramped up our distribution through these channels to meet the rising need and distributed 44.1 million meals in the past year. That’s 52.9 million pounds!

 

An example of some of our work since the pandemic turned everything upside down.

 

We are proud to announce that your monetary donations now stretch even further, with every dollar now equating to $8.03 worth of goods and services, and 96 cents of every dollar given still goes directly towards feeding people in need. We’ve been working with a dramatic decrease in volunteers and an increase in safety protocols, but our dedicated staff has come through in astonishing ways. Along with the profound outpouring of help from our community, they have enabled us to continue meeting the increased need of our neighbors, friends, and family. With your continued support, we are confident we will continue to meet that need.


The Utah Human Race is a go!

 
COVID-19 has required us to make a lot of changes so that we can continue our mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide while also caring for the health of our volunteers, employees, and clients. That has included changes to our operations and many of our events, and the Utah Human Race is no exception.
 
Seeing everyone Thanksgiving morning, many decked out in fun costumes, is one of the highlights of our year, but unfortunately, safety concerns have required us to cancel our regular race. However, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without our annual race, so we’ve switched to a virtual race this year. This way, the tradition can continue, but we’re bringing it to you! Of course, we are also continuing our tradition of supporting our work with all the proceeds from this race, so you will still be able to help us fight hunger with every step.
 

I’m in! Now what?

 
Registration is open now, and you can Run With an Attitude of Gratitude any time between November 1 and 27. You can complete a 5K or a 10K, and the cost for either one is $30 and includes a t-shirt.
 
Once you register, you will receive your t-shirt and bib in the mail, but the earlier you register, the more likely you’ll get your shirt in time for your race. You’ll also get all the tools you need to start a team or to ask your friends and family to support your efforts with a donation. Once you’ve completed your race, you can submit your results online and see how you stacked up against everyone else! Just be sure to register by November 24 at 5 pm, because we will close registration at that time.
 

We want to see you!

 
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family and tag us in your social media when you race! You can share your run with us by using the #utahhumanrace2020 hashtag or tagging @utahfoodbank. We may even share your social media posts with our followers, ESPECIALLY if you still wear a fun costume! We will miss the fun and community of seeing the nearly 5,000 people who participate every year in person, and we would love to see your posts about the race!
 
Please join us in making this virtual race a fun and memorable one! Many Utah families are facing empty cupboards instead of feasts this Thanksgiving, and you can make a difference. Your support and participation are what make the Utah Human Race so great!
 


Sign Up!

 


Today is Hunger Action Day, a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater hunger-fighting impact. It’s part of Hunger Action Month, a time when people all over America stand against hunger. Sharing, fundraising, and donating are just a few ideas for taking action this month here in Utah.

All month long, we’re honoring Hunger Action Month with a special match. This is a month dedicated to helping families, many of whom are only one disaster away from hunger, like what happened in much of Utah earlier this week. If you donate before September 30, you can help twice as many families with a single caring gift. To make donations even more impactful and to celebrate Hunger Action Day, we are excited to announce a Donation Match up to $10,000!

Usually, every dollar donated to Utah Food Bank creates $7.66 worth of goods and services. Right now, thanks to an anonymous donor, your dollars can go even further. With COVID-19 creating an estimated additional 165,000 Utahns facing food insecurity, bringing the total number of our neighbors in need up to 510,590, now is the time to take action.

With the support of our donors, we have been able to step up to meet the increased demand. In the past six months you have helped us to:

  • Distribute 31 million pounds of food, a 6.6-million-pound increase over the same time last year
  • Distribute 70,000 meals to feed children when schools closed
  • Serve 211% more households through our Mobile Pantry program than we did during the same time last year
  • Expand our Mobile Pantry distribution sites by 49%
  • Host our largest 1-time distribution ever (Maverik Center) with 5,000 cars served (29,000 individuals)
  • During June and July, with the addition of our Summer Feeding Program, serve 165,000 children’s meals

The need for food assistance will continue to be great, as many families struggle to bounce back. With so many Utahns living paycheck to paycheck, it only takes one setback to create a crisis. Between business closings, lengthy school closings, and a surge in unemployment filings, COVID-19 was the catalyst for many Utahns to need our help, some for the first time.

With your support, we can continue to meet this growing need. You can help now by donating as part of this donation match and by sharing this post with your friends and family on social media! 

 

Donate Now!

 

 


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