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Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Smith’s Food & Drug, joined forces to donate more than 40,000 pounds of protein to us as part of Smithfield’s 2019 Helping Hungry Homes® donation tour. Helping Hungry Homes® is Smithfield’s signature hunger-relief initiative focused on alleviating hunger and helping Americans become more food secure. The donation, equivalent to more than 160,000 servings, will help families fight hunger across the state. This year marked the third such donation to Utah Food Bank, bringing the grand total to 470,000 servings of protein provided through this effort.

“Here at the Utah Food Bank, we understand that hunger is all around us, but getting food to hungry Utahns requires considerable resources,” said Ginette Bott, president & CEO for Utah Food Bank. “We’re grateful for partners, like Smithfield Foods and Smith’s, who provide the necessary nutrition to feed those in need. This donation will support many in our community, and we are pleased to continue working to alleviate hunger in our great state.”

Representatives from Smithfield and Smith’s, presented the donation to us, which is significant not only for its size, but also because it consists of much-needed, but rarely donated, protein-rich food items. After the donation, employees from Smithfield and Smith’s volunteered their time here at our warehouse filling boxes with food destined for homebound seniors and people with disabilities.

This was the 38th large-scale protein donation made by Smithfield to food banks across the country during its 2019 Helping Hungry Homes® tour. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Smithfield has provided more than 130 million servings of protein to food banks, disaster relief efforts, and community outreach programs nationwide.

“At Smithfield, we’re dedicated to feeding people, especially in the communities we call home,” said Jonathan Toms, associate manager of charitable initiatives for Smithfield Foods. “We’re humbled to provide this donation to support our neighbors in need throughout Utah, and we’re pleased to partner with like-minded organizations like Smith’s as we work to alleviate food insecurity for all Americans.”

Smithfield Foods


For so many kids, summer means pools, sprinklers and fun. But for a surprising number of Utah children–142,320 of them to be exact–summer means worrying about where their next meal will come from. When school is out, so are the school meals that so many families rely on during the school year. To combat this, Utah Food Bank and many providers across the state off free meals through the Summer Food Service Program, which is sponsored by the USDA. These meals are available to children 18 years of age and under through a variety of sites such as parks and community centers across the state. Utah Food Bank is offering these meals at 50 sites this summer, with plans to serve more than 100,000 meals at sites located in Carbon, Davis, Iron, San Juan, Salt Lake, Utah and Washington Counties. In fact, we distributed over 47,000 meals in June alone, so we are well on our way to exceeding our 100,000 meal goal!

According to Jessie, a parent to two children who benefit from summer meals, “I worry about a lot of things. I worry about how I’m going to pay rent and how I’m going to put food on the table.” During the summer, when her kids don’t have access to school meals, Jessie also worries about filling in that meal gap for her children. Her son Deron admits “If we didn’t have the food from the community center, we wouldn’t eat as much in the summer. It helps us a lot.”

If you or anyone you know needs help filling the summer meal gap, there are several resources available:

  • View Utah Food Bank’s summer meal sites (closed until Summer 2020)
  • View the USDA list of summer meal sites throughout the state
  • Text “FOOD” to 877-877
  • Call the toll-free United Way 2-1-1 information and referral services hotline

 


It’s summer, and for many Utah families summer means swimming pools, vacations and playing at the park. But for the families we serve, summer means increased food insecurity due to the summer nutrition gap. When kids are out of school, they also lose access to school meal programs, and parents have to find a way to provide two additional meals daily, putting additional strain on an already-thin budget. These kids spend their summer worrying about where their next meal will come from instead of swimming at the pool. Sadly, donations are also at their lowest during the summer months as families in a position to help are busy with their summer activities.

Our annual Summer Business Food & Fund Drive runs through the end of August and focuses on local businesses, because just like hunger, they don’t take a summer vacation. We encourage businesses and organizations across the state to host food and/or fund drives at this critical time of need. There are so many creative ways to motivate your coworkers to give, whether it’s an opportunity to wear jeans in exchange for a donation, incentives for employees to participate, or even a bake sale to benefit our work. You’d be surprised to see what a little healthy inter-department competition can do in the name of helping Utah kids facing hunger!

We even offer a Virtual Food Drive, which allows you to create your own donation page where employees can “shop” for the items they wish to donate, while taking advantage of our incredible purchasing power!  If you prefer a traditional food drive, we offer supplies and transportation services (500 lbs. minimum) so your employees can donate at your workplace. Or you could take inspiration from sponsor Les Olson Company who supports us with a combination of the two, and even offers payroll deductions to their employees to make it even easier for them to participate!

If you’re not sure where to get started, take a look at our Food Drive FAQs. If you’re ready to help the 1 in 7 Utah kids facing hunger during this critical time of need, visit our Summer Business Food & Fund Drive webpage to sign up. Thank you for your support!

Summer Business Food & Fund Drive


Step up to the tee to fill a plate at our annual Driving Out Hunger golf tournament. This year’s event will be held on Monday, June 17, starting at 8:00 am at Hidden Valley Country Club in Sandy. This fun, scramble-format tournament directly supports our programs, operations and outreach. There are plenty of ways to participate–as a four-player team ($1,000), a two-person team ($500) or you can even opt for a “mulligan” by donating without participating.

Team registrations include a continental breakfast at check-in, which starts at 7:00 am, and lunch at the awards ceremony immediately following the tournament.  Thanks to our presenting sponsor, Sysco Intermountain, for their support of the event. There is only room for 36 foursomes at this event, and the registration deadline is coming up on June 7, so get your foursome together today and start practicing your swing!

Driving Out Hunger


In Utah, 382,000 Utahns face hunger. Even more alarming is that 1 in 7 Utah children don’t know where their next meal will come from. To raise awareness and combat the issue of hunger, Utah Food Bank is partnering with Walmart, Sam’s Club and Feeding America for the sixth annual “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign, which runs until May 20. There are several ways to participate, including purchasing a participating item in-store or online or donating in-store at registers. This is a national campaign which will also benefit Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks, of which we are a member. All donations made in Utah Walmart or Sam’s Club locations will directly benefit our work of Fighting Hunger Statewide.

With 749 million meals achieved over the last five years, Utah customers and members can help the Feeding America network secure its 1 billion cumulative meals goal in the following ways:

  • For every participating product purchased at U.S. Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs or on Walmart.com during the campaign, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of at least one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits.
  • Donate money to your local Feeding America food bank at participating Sam’s Club and Walmart stores in the U.S.

Walmart kickstarted the campaign with a $3 million donation to Feeding America and member food banks including Utah Food Bank. A purchase of one of the 267 participating items helps secure the equivalent of one meal. Each Walmart and Sam’s Club will partner with at least one Feeding America local food bank, and the 18 participating suppliers include: Bush Brothers, Campbell’s, Conagra Brands, Cliff Bar, General Mills, Gold Peak Tea, Great Value, Hidden Valley, JM Smucker, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, McCormick, Motts, PepsiCo, Post, Uncle Ben’s, Nature Nate’s Honey and Unilever.

“As we go into our sixth year of the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign, it’s exciting to approach the 1 billion mark in terms of charitable meals secured for Feeding America over the life of the program,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Food insecurity continues to affect communities across the United States. Working with Feeding America, our customers, members, associates and suppliers, Walmart and Sam’s Club aim to be part of the solution.”

To learn more about the campaign visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger.


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