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Despite an organization-wide desire to distribute the most appropriate foods possible to every community in need, Utah Food Bank currently does not have a formal process to identify, track, and distribute culturally appropriate foods to the most suitable food pantries and mobile pantries on a statewide scale. Thanks to a recent grant of $100,000 from KeyBank, we are implementing a multi-phased pilot project in Salt Lake County to help identify and address the needs of our rich multicultural population.

Between 1990 and 2020, the number of residents in Salt Lake County increased by 63.3%. During that same time, the number of minority residents increased by 380%, and the number of Hispanic/Latino residents increased by 432%. Salt Lake City is one of 19 U.S. areas identified by the State Department as “welcoming communities” for refugees. Approximately 60,000 refugees represent countries including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Vietnam, Russia, and Myanmar. Salt Lake City schools report over 100 languages spoken.

The KeyBank grant will aid and enhance the Utah Food Bank’s efforts in establishing a delivery baseline for the top 15 culturally responsive foods and creating workflows for inventory and warehousing departments to identify, communicate and prioritize agency needs. The new program will also include survey tools to better assess and record product preferences for partner agencies.

Culturally responsive foods consist of various items considered the most popular among diverse cultural groups. These foods include flour, beef, green cabbage, carrots, chicken, cucumbers, fresh eggs, garlic, lime, cow milk, onions, pasta, bell and sweet peppers, white sugar and tomato. The emphasis is on avoiding pre-seasoned and pre-packaged meats and pasta while providing whole foods.

“Utah Food Bank is grateful to KeyBank for supporting this important initiative that will help us respond accordingly to Utah’s changing demographics,” according to Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO. “Piloting this program in Salt Lake County will allow us to learn from and refine the distribution of more culturally responsive foods so that as we expand our footprint in Utah in the near future, we can implement similar models statewide.”



Thanks to your generosity, this holiday season felt incredibly hopeful, and we can’t thank you enough!
Thousands of you joined us for the Utah Human Race and gave of your food, time, and money to support our Holiday Food & Fund Drive, not to mention the donations that poured in for our Giving Tuesday and year-end donation matches.
Now that the holiday glow is fading, winter truly sets in. Thanks to inflation, grocery store trips have become more expensive for all of us, and many of our neighbors are making difficult choices between feeding their families and keeping their homes warm. We hope the coming spring will bring with it some inflation relief. In the meantime, your continued support can help alleviate what can be a bleak time of year.
GIVE FOOD – Our Holiday Food & Fund Drive is still going until January 15, and we have a couple of statewide food drives coming up: Feed Utah in March and Stamp Out Hunger in May. You can also host a food drive! And, of course, you can always donate nonperishable food items at one of our drop-off locations.
GIVE TIME – If you would like to get more involved by giving your time, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer throughout the year as an individual, a family, or a group. It’s a great way to be a part of the community, and volunteers are an essential part of our ability to fight hunger statewide! 
GIVE MONEY – If you have resolved to be more consistent in your charitable giving this year, an easy way to do so is by joining our Monthly Meal Makers Giving Program. Your monthly gift will help ensure a predictable source of income we can count on so that our statewide network of partner agencies and food pantries keep their shelves stocked. If your resolution is more about using your voice to do good, consider hosting a DIY fundraiser. Setting one up takes just a few minutes, and you’ll get a customized fundraising page you can share with your friends, family and coworkers.
Whether you wish to give food, time, or money, when you make supporting Utah Food Bank a part of your year, you can rest assured that your support is going to make a significant impact on the lives of our neighbors facing hunger and will help make this new year a happier one.


It’s been another challenging year.

The price of food, energy, rent, and other essentials has gotten so high that people can no longer afford their basic needs, and the demand for food in Utah is approaching an all-time high. Across Utah, record-high costs have hardworking people choosing between food and other basic needs. So many of you have been a vital line of support to families and individuals facing hunger in communities across Utah this year, but your compassion will also be critical in the days and months ahead with no end in sight to inflation.

Fortunately, we have some much-needed good news!

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation is offering to match every gift made to Utah Food Bank through the end of the year— up to $100,000 in total. Until midnight, December 31, every $1 you give doubles in value to help distribute $18.08 worth of goods and services to our neighbors facing hunger.

As we close out this season of giving, you may be wondering how you can make an impact. This is it! With your gift before the end of 2022, you can provide twice as much food to our neighbors hit hard by inflation and increased costs.

For the rest of the year, one act of kindness has the power to fill twice as many hearts with hope for a better year ahead. Please give as generously as you can today, and thank you for your support!

Inflation has impacted the price of everything around us – food, rent, gas, and even electricity. With wages nowhere near meeting these rising costs, many who were already living paycheck to paycheck find themselves having to make tough choices this holiday season…a time when budgets naturally get a little tighter.

This is especially true for our neighbors on fixed incomes and those with kids home from school on winter break. No one should have to decide between feeding their family or heating their home. Or wonder whether they can pay for their medication and still cover rent. But far too many of our neighbors must make those kinds of decisions every day.

Last estimates reported that 289,000 Utahns are food insecure. Unfortunately, that number is likely higher because it reflects the decline we saw from 2020 to 2021. But our partner agencies and mobile pantries are seeing an increase in need that, in some cases, is higher than even in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Historic inflation, coupled with the end of programs aimed at helping families by providing relief during the pandemic, has created an environment where demand has risen significantly.

We are as committed as ever to continuing the fight against hunger statewide. Still, the increase in need plus the impact of inflation on our distribution costs means we need Utahns to join us in our mission year-round.

If you’d like to help, there are many ways to get involved and make a difference, below are just a few:

  • Inform—let your friends and followers know they can call 211 to find out about resources in their community.
  • Share—when you share Utah Food Bank’s posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you help spread the word about our mission.
  • Give Food—along with our usual drop-off locations, there are many opportunities this time of year to participate in the food drives hosted by businesses and organizations across the state as part of our Holiday Food & Fund Drive.
  • Give Time—volunteers are the heartbeat of Utah Food Bank! Last year, their work provided the equivalent of 75 full-time employees—we could not continue to distribute food free of charge across the state without this help.
  • Give Money—97 cents from each $1 donated goes directly to food and services, so whether you give a one-time gift or become a Monthly Meal Maker, you can be confident your money will go where it’s needed most.
  • Host a Fundraiser—our JustGiving Platform makes it easy for anyone to host a DIY Fund Drive. Why not make one part of your holiday party or family gathering?

With all of us working together, we can help make an impossible situation a little easier for our families, friends, and neighbors in communities across Utah experiencing hunger this holiday season.

Today is Giving Tuesday, and an anonymous friend of ours will match your gift up to $50,000!

Your generosity could go a long way to ease the pain and anxiety of hunger for the 1 in 9 Utah kids who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. Because of this donation match, a $10 gift today could provide 90 meals for Utahns in need when your donation is doubled! 

This Giving Tuesday, helping our neighbors in need is more crucial than ever. Due to inflation and the soaring cost of living, many are struggling to cover the essentials, let alone the next meal. These days, it just takes one stroke of misfortune to put someone’s livelihood at risk. For one of our mobile pantry clients, that misfortune was being let go from her job as a school crossing guard because she has cancer. She has very little income and not much time left to live, and our volunteers have watched her become frailer every week that she went to the distribution.

This month, a local grocery store donated $50 gift cards for us to hand out at a mobile pantry distribution, and she was so touched that she started to weep and said, “I think now I can get my last turkey.”

No one in Utah should have to wonder how they’ll feed themselves or their family—especially during the holidays.

A big part of what makes the holidays magical for us here at Utah Food Bank is seeing individuals, communities and organizations across Utah whose collective efforts inspire us with their philanthropy and generosity. We are proud to take part in Giving Tuesday to kick off the giving season-please join us today with your gift to put food into the hands of twice as many of our neighbors experiencing hunger!


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