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September 15th We Recognize Hunger Action Day

As we approach the halfway mark in September, Hunger Action Month is a crucial time to raise awareness about food insecurity and make a real impact in your community. The opportunity to have donations matched up to $50,000 by an anonymous donor is a fantastic chance to double your impact and help us reach our goal of 450,000 meals in September. Here are six additional ways you can get involved this month:

  1. Make a Donation: Your financial support can make a significant difference, no matter what size your gift is. Remember that every dollar donated in September will be matched, up to $50,000, effectively doubling your contribution. For your gift to be eligible for this matching offer, click here.
  2. Spread the Word: Share this message and the campaign’s details with your friends, family, and social media networks. Encourage others to donate and join the cause during Hunger Action Month. Engaging with our social media platforms can help you stay engaged and informed about our ongoing efforts to combat hunger. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @utahfoodbank.
  3. Volunteer: If you have the time and availability, consider volunteering at Utah Food Bank, or one of our 230 partner agencies across the state. Our organization relies heavily on volunteer support, and your time can make a significant impact. In fact, last year we were the beneficiaries of 156,656 volunteer hours – the equivalent of 75 full-time employees. We simply could not do what we do if we had to pay staff to do what our volunteers do for us! Sign-up today!
  4. Host a Fundraiser: Organize a fundraising event in your community or workplace. You can get creative with virtual fundraisers, bake sales, charity runs, or any other activity that can help raise funds for the cause. You can even create your own online fundraiser with a unique URL that you can send to your network of friends and family to help support our efforts. Learn more about DIY fundraisers
  5. Learn About Hunger: Educate yourself and others about the causes of hunger and food insecurity in our community. Having a deeper understanding of the experiences of our neighbors experiencing hunger can help you motivate others to join the fight. Our website features many stories of those impacted by our work.
  6. Support Local Food Drives: Participate in local food drives to collect non-perishable items for Utah Food Bank. These items can make a difference in the lives of those struggling with hunger. Food drives provide a broad variety of food that we don’t receive through commercial donations or purchased foods. This means our clients have a chance to choose the specific foods that their families enjoy, just like you do at the grocery store. Sign up to host your own food drive here.

Remember that your contribution, whether it’s a gift of food, time, or money, can make a tangible impact on the lives of individuals and families facing food insecurity. By coming together during Hunger Action Month, you can help alleviate this pressing issue and provide hope to those in need.

Help Provide 450,000 Meals Before Sept. 30!

September is national Hunger Action Month, which is a time for our communities to act on the issue of hunger and bring attention to the reality of food insecurity in Utah and across the nation.

This year’s Hunger Action Month campaign is being launched with a unique opportunity for Utah Food Bank supporters. An anonymous donor has pledged to match donations up to $50,000. This means that every dollar donated during September will be doubled, effectively allowing Utah Food Bank to provide twice as many meals to those facing hunger. Take action with your matching gift today.  

Hunger Action Month highlights the challenges that many people are currently experiencing due to rising costs of living. According to the USDA, families are spending significantly more on groceries compared to the previous year. This increase, coupled with high housing costs and inflation rates, is putting a strain on household budgets. As a result, 289,000 individuals in Utah are struggling to have enough food to eat. The situation has forced families to choose between necessities like food and other essential expenses, such as housing and healthcare.

Irene, a food pantry client, underscores the importance of the Utah Food Bank’s support. She explained, I don’t think I could do it without Utah Food Bank. It supplements what I can’t do. I have to use my finances to cover repairs on my car that I need to get to work and my doctor’s appointments. It’s a blessing, almost like Christmas, to see what foods the pantry has.”

Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice, and you can help replace worries with hope when you take action with this incredible matching offer! Please help us reach our goal of providing 450,000 meals during Hunger Action Month by donating today. Even a donation of $10 can feed a family of four for a week. Hunger is a pressing issue affecting many individuals and families in Utah. Through the generosity of donors, Utah Food Bank aims to make a significant impact by providing meals and support to those who are struggling.

Please take advantage of this generous matching offer and help us reach our goal of providing 450,000 meals during Hunger Action Month. Whether you’re a long-time supporter of Utah Food Bank or just joining us, now is the perfect time to act in the fight against hunger statewide. Your gift today can help twice as many of our neighbors experiencing hunger. 

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As summer comes to an end and the excitement of a new academic year begins, it’s important to remember that for many students, the return to school also signifies the return of a concerning issue: back-to-school hunger. While the sight of bustling hallways and eager learners may seem promising, hunger is an often-overlooked reality impacting numerous students statewide.

School supply lists have items like pencils, markers, and notebooks – all the tools a child needs to be successful in school. But something important is missing. Students need food to perform their best in class. When school resumes, these students face the challenge of returning to the classroom on an empty stomach, significantly impacting their learning capabilities.

Recent studies tell us this may be the most expensive year for back-to-school shopping in history:

  • In May 2023, the average family of four spent $285 more on groceries than in May 2021, according to the USDA.
  • According to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $890.07 on back-to-school items this year.

Childhood hunger as a hidden educational barrier has far-reaching consequences on students’ academic performance and overall well-being. Hunger affects cognitive abilities, concentration, memory, and problem-solving skills. A hungry child may find it challenging to focus in class, leading to a decline in academic achievements and potentially widening the achievement gap between low-income and more affluent students. Not to mention distracting other kids.

Apart from academic consequences, hunger can also cause emotional and behavioral problems. Children experiencing food insecurity might feel embarrassed or socially isolated, impacting their self-esteem and motivation to participate in school activities. Moreover, hunger may exacerbate stress and anxiety, making it harder for students to cope with everyday challenges, including schoolwork.

Back-to-school hunger is a pressing issue that demands our attention and action. No child should be forced to learn on an empty stomach. Your gift of food, time, or money is not just about providing sustenance – it’s also about nurturing a brighter future for our students.

Utah is home to majestic mountains, peaks and valleys, but we (along with much of the country) have arrived at a critical juncture known as the “Hunger Cliff” – the sudden end of increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that were made available during the pandemic. On March 1, 2023, all SNAP recipients suffered deep cuts to their benefits each month, while at the same time, inflation kept its grip on budgets for day-to-day living expenses, including food.

With these cuts in March, over 77,000 Utah households receiving SNAP lost their additional benefits. This means an average loss of $82 a month per participant, bringing average SNAP benefits to a meager $6 a person per day.  Sadly, the steepest cliff has been for many older adults already on fixed incomes — dropping from $281 a month to just $23.

Even before these cuts to benefits, we faced increased demand for food assistance that started during the pandemic and remained high due to inflation. When food budgets get slashed this drastically, we and our 230 partner agencies across the state are the first line of defense, but filling this gap is proving to be a daunting task with no relief in sight. The Hunger Cliff is the point at which progress in fighting hunger stagnates or reverses. We are at a critical threshold that, if surpassed, could plunge our communities into severe food insecurity.

Hunger is a formidable challenge, but by raising awareness and taking action, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected. Together, we are Fighting Hunger Statewide, and together we can foster a community that ensures access to nutritious food for all and a more inclusive Utah for everyone. Your gifts of food, time or money can keep us from the edge of this precipitous cliff, so to find out how you can get involved, click HERE and select from the options at the top of the page.

Summer is a tough time for families struggling to make ends meet and fill empty tummies without the help of school meals. Many overworked parents skip meals to save money in the face of rising costs. This is why we are working harder than ever to ensure Utah children facing hunger have access to nutritious food.

Utah Food Bank has added more sites to the Summer Food Service Program, bringing the total number of locations up to 62! These free meals are available for youth up to age 18. Many of these sites are in 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.

“Summers are long with five kids at home,” one Utah mom shared with us at a summer meal site. “When we come to the park for lunch, I notice the kids don’t graze out of boredom the rest of the day. That helps keep grocery costs down so I can stretch my food dollars further.”

Many individual sites are reaching out to local community members to add an extra layer of fun for the kids. In Kearns, the local library is incorporating story time during their meals. Another site has partnered with their local law enforcement for demonstrations.

Utah Food Bank is offering these meals at 62 locations this summer, with plans to serve more than 146,000 meals at sites in Salt Lake, Utah, Washington, Weber, Davis, Iron, San Juan, and Grand counties. For a complete list of our site locations, visit

You can also text “FOOD” to 304-304 for nearby resources. This free texting service 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.

There are many opportunities to join in the fight against hunger statewide. Your gift of food, time, or money is desperately needed to meet the high demand for food in Utah this summer.

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