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

Seeing all the ways that the community gives back during the holiday season always brightens our souls! It seems you can’t go anywhere without seeing our ubiquitous food drive barrels, or someone accepting donations on our behalf, and we are so grateful to be the recipients of the holly in your hearts! The 382,000 Utahns who face hunger are even more grateful for your generosity! We get a LOT of questions this time of year about hosting food drives, so thought we’d provide some information, tips and best practices!

 

Why are food drives important? You may or may not know that food drives make up 5% of the food we collect annually. While that may not sound like a lot, it’s a very important 5% because it provides a variety of food that we can’t match with purchased foods or through commercial donations. When people donate to food drives, they often are donating the same food their family eats, and you can bet that another family would appreciate it just as much. We get our best prices when we purchase large quantities of the same food, and that may not always match some of our clients dietary restrictions, so having a variety of food helps to eliminate food waste as well!

 

What are your most needed items? We always request nutritious items that are low in sugar or sodium. High-protein staples such as canned meats or tuna are great items to fill tummies, and boxed meals and pasta are always a favorite of our clients. Canned fruits and vegetables help to round out a balanced diet too!

 

Can I donate turkeys or hams? This may surprise you, but we actually prefer to receive non-perishable items in larger quantities than a perishable item that has to be consumed quickly after it’s prepared. In addition, many of our clients may not have the equipment or capability to prepare such a meal, not to mention the ability to eat it before it goes bad. While we do agree that everyone deserves a holiday meal, we feel that it’s more important to give clients food that can stretch for many meals over a designated special meal. People facing food insecurity are not only concerned about where their next meal will come from, but the ones after that, and after that, and so forth.

 

How do I host a food drive? You can easily host a traditional food drive or virtual food drive, and we have all the tools you need to succeed! You can sign up to host a food drive here, and if your goal exceeds 500 pounds of food, we can even provide transportation! To put that in perspective, that’s about half a truck bed full of food. Of course, we appreciate food drives of all sizes, so if that seems difficult to achieve, you can pick up the supplies at either our Salt Lake or St. George warehouses, and return them with the food when you are done.

 

How do I make my food drive a success? The biggest factor for success is considering the audience you are trying to reach, and how to motivate them to support your efforts. What works for some groups doesn’t work for others, and one size does not fit all. A little healthy competition is an incredible motivator, so consider challenging a partner (or competitor) to collect more food. Communication is also key – whether it’s internal communication or even social media, people need to know about your effort.  Feel free to tag us on social media as we love to engage with our supporters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

 

I heard you can stretch $1 into $7.48 worth of goods and services…should I just donate money? This also depends on your audience. While it is true that monetary donations go the furthest, we still need food drive items so we can offer variety. If you want to add a financial donation as part of your food drive efforts, consider hosting a Virtual Food Drive as well, or in place of a traditional food drive. You’ll get a designated link you can send to people, and they can select the items they want us to purchase while capitalizing on our purchasing power! It’s like grocery shopping without leaving your house!

 

Want to know more? Be sure to visit our Holiday webpage for more ideas on how you can help us fight hunger statewide this holiday season!

 

Thank you for supporting our Holiday Food & Fund Drive!


Want to double-down on your donation this holiday season? For a limited time, thanks to our partnerships with Feeding America and Bank of America, each $1 you donate will be matched by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation with $2 through their Give a Meal program. That means that if you donate $25, we receive $75!  To participate in this, you’ll have to follow these instructions – donations made through our regular donation form are not eligible.

 

Step 1: Click HERE for the donation form.

Step 2: Choose your donation amount  and enter your zip code. If it’s in Utah, your donation will be directed to us!

Step 3: Complete the rest of the donation process.

 

Note: They will only match up to $1,000 per individual donor. Personal donations only – no corporate credit cards. You DO NOT have to be a Bank of America customer to participate!

Questions? Contact Heidi Cannella at communications@utahfoodbank.org or (801) 887-1278.

Thank you for your support!


Registration is officially OPEN for our 13th annual Utah Human Race on Thanksgiving Day (November 22) in Draper! This family-friendly 5K/10K attracts close to 5,000 participants (many in costume) to come together to run with an attitude of gratitude and help us fight hunger at the same time! The race will be held at Draper Spectrum once again, and the 10K starts at 7:30am and costs $25 per person, while the 5K starts at 8:00am and costs $20 per person. Timing chips are optional and cost $6 each. This is one of the largest 5K/10K events in the state, and all proceeds directly benefit us.

For those who register by October 22, we are offering a discount of $5 per runner if you use the discount code EarlyBird2018 (case sensitive). Further information is on our race homepage regarding the discount. In addition, everyone who uses the discount code will be entered to win one of several Utah Grizzlies Fan Four-Packs!

With our registration site, you can register as an individual or form a team and invite others to join you, either through donations or participating on race day! Online registration closes at noon on Monday, November 19 and there is NO SAME DAY REGISTRATION.  Packet pick-up will be on Wednesday, November 12 at our Salt Lake warehouse (3150 S. 900 W) where you can come and pick up your race bags and shirts, and you can also register in-person during packet pick-up for an additional fee.

So many families have made this a tradition and we love to see you all every year! Special thank you to Presenting Sponsor Cameron Construction and Gold Sponsors Alliance Data, Discover Card, and University of Utah Health. See you on race day!

REGISTER NOW!


It’s national Hunger Action Month, when Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks draw attention to the issue of hunger with the goal of creating a movement throughout September that has a real and lasting impact on the issue of hunger in our communities. Here are some great ways you can take action this month to show your commitment to helping the 392,000 Utahns, and 1 in 6 children, who face hunger in Utah.

  • Get your gift matched! Help us reach our goal of raising enough funds to reach 20,000 meals by taking advantage of this opportunity. Just click HERE to donate and your gift will be matched (up to $5,000).
  • Register for our H.A.M. It Up Against Hunger Race on September 29 in St. George. All proceeds from this family-friendly 5K will benefit our work in Southern Utah!
  • Take a photo or selfie of yourself holding an empty plate and tell us what you can’t do on an empty stomach by completing this sentence: “On an empty stomach, I can’t ____”. Tag us in your post and we will do our best to share it, and be sure to use the #HungerActionMonth hashtag! Check out the examples below!
  • Start a Facebook Fundraiser and tell all your friends and family about it!
  • Consider sharing a video about hunger in Utah, whether it’s a story about one of our clients or our “Carrots” TV commercial, it’s a great reminder that hunger is all around us.

Thank you for your support and for taking action to help us continue our mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide! Happy Hunger Action Month!

Empty Plates Social Media Campaign

 

 


This year’s “Foodstruction” was a huge hit, and we can’t thank Salt Lake County Health Department enough for organizing it! If you are wondering what “Foodstruction” means, it’s essentially constructing sculptures out of food, and these amazing works of art were on display at several local library locations earlier this month. As an added bonus, the groups who participated not only donated all this food to us, but healthy food items were the primary focus! Here’s a list of the participating donors/builders and what their structures were!

  • University of Utah Health – AirMed Replica (with moving propeller blades – People’s Choice Winner!)
  • Real Salt Lake – Leo the Lion
  • Hughes General Contractors – “Feed Your Brain”
  • CHG Healthcare – Logo with Heart
  • SelectHealth – Minions
  • University of Utah Health Plans – Pacman
  • USU Extension – Healthy Plate

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, talents and food for this fun community event! After all these works of art were dismantled and brought to our building (along with donations from the public who attended), it will turn into the equivalent of over 13,000 meals for Utahns facing hunger!

Foodstruction


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