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

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!

 

 


This is usually the time of year when we start talking about kids going back to school, and how our Mobile School Pantry program is helping thousands of school kids dealing with food insecurity. This year things are different. Many kids aren’t heading back to school. Or if they are, it’s for fewer days a week. So we are making changes to our distribution process, because one thing that remains the same is there are thousands of children wondering where their next meal will come from, on top of the stress caused by parents losing jobs and all the changes brought about by the health crisis.

 

Before COVID-19, 1 in 7 Utah kids lacked adequate access to food. With COVID-19, that number is increasing rapidly, and hunger leads to devastating challenges for children. Research shows an association between insufficient food and delayed development in young children, with a higher risk of chronic illnesses like asthma and anemia; and behavioral problems like hyperactivity, anxiety, and aggression in school-age children.

 

As you may know, Utah’s public schools ended the school year in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we quickly adjusted the Mobile School Pantry program to meet each school’s needs. For many schools, this meant changing distribution methods and items so that they could provide groceries at the same time they distributed free and reduced lunches. For the schools that lacked this capacity, we diverted Mobile School Pantry resources to bolster food deliveries to nearby food pantries and Mobile Pantry distributions. Despite this spring’s challenges, the Mobile School Pantry program had another impactful year, providing 862,680 pounds of food to 57,296 families at 84 schools across the Wasatch Front and in southern Utah.

 

While we are all uncertain what the coming school year will bring, we remain as committed to feeding kids as ever. Utah Food Bank is planning to provide Mobile School Pantry distributions in schools where it’s possible, while expanding in-school pantries at schools that can’t accommodate our traditional Mobile School Pantry. At schools offering in-person after-school programs, we will still be offering our Kids Cafe meals, which serve as dinner for many Utah children. In schools where Kids Cafe meals aren’t possible, we are providing a grab & go type meal for kids, where parents can pick up bagged meals to take home.

 

Because the health crisis is in such a state of flux, we will remain adaptive and flexible as the situation evolves. Regardless of what happens, Utah Food Bank will be here, providing food assistance to these students and families as they face unbelievable challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For the past decade, Utah Food Bank hosted our Night at the Warehouse gala at our Salt Lake City warehouse. It has always been a wonderful tradition featuring dinner, live and silent auctions, and more. It has also always been a successful fundraising event, bringing in approximately $150,000 yearly to support our programs. This year, so much in the world has changed that our Night at the Warehouse gala had to undergo some changes as well.  Night NOT at the Warehouse will be held as an online auction from August 10 through August 15, culminating with a live online event at 6:00 PM on August 15.

 

While we will miss the in-person aspect of our gala, one benefit of an online auction is we aren’t limited by space. That means anyone can participate, from the comfort and safety of your own home – and we will still have the same exciting items available to bid on, so you can snag some fabulous things while helping out a great cause! 

 

Before COVID-19, 374,000 Utahns were facing food insecurity, with 1 in 7 Utah kids unsure where their next meal was coming from. The pandemic has only increased that number, with an estimated 165,000 more Utahns needing food assistance, many for the first time. The sudden rise in need has brought with it extraordinary hurdles, including the need for a higher volume of food distribution, which increases distribution costs, all with fewer people to do the work since our warehouse has been closed to volunteers.

 

Just as the need for assistance and associated costs have grown, we have had several fund and food raising events canceled or postponed, so we are pleased to be able to adapt our Gala into a Night NOT at the Warehouse, and continue the tradition, albeit in a different format.

 

 

We are also offering two exciting Opportunity Drawings with tickets available for just $25 each, and you can start purchasing your tickets for these NOW! Purchase as many tickets as you’d like, but ticket sales will close on Friday, August 14 at 5:00 PM. We will draw our lucky winners during our live online event starting at 6:00 PM on Saturday, August 15, but you don’t need to be tuned in to win.

  • 6 Disneyland Resort Park Hopper 1-Day Passes (expiration 2/27/2022) – valued at $1,080
  • 4 day/3 night Marriott Vacation Club stay in a 2-bedroom villa at properties ranging from across the U.S. (including Park City) to Mexico, overseas & beyond (expiration 4/25/2021) – valued at $2,025

 

The finale of our auction will be an online live event. Join us for an update from Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO, about the surge in need due to COVID-19, and how we’ve adjusted our operations in response. Immediately following her remarks, stay tuned for a virtual paddle raise to support our COVID-19 relief efforts.

Live Online Event!

Saturday, August 15   |  6:00pm – 7:00pm

All donations made during the online event will be matched up to $25,000!

 


How do you do a food drive in a time of social distancing?

In the past, Utah Food Bank has received significant food donations from traditional food drives through community organizations, local businesses, churches, schools, and more. With large gatherings reduced, and so many of these services not happening right now, most food drives are also not happening right now. While we still readily accept donations of food, we know that – especially now with COVID-19 – it’s not always easy to collect canned goods and pantry staples from friends, family, and colleagues.

At the same time, there has been an increase in need, as many families are dealing with an extra-long summer with no school meals and the challenge of unexpected job loss. If you’re interested in Fighting Hunger Statewide and bringing hope to fellow Utahns facing food insecurity, a Virtual Food Drive is an excellent way to provide support while staying safe, as well as saving time and fuel.

Hosting a Virtual Food Drive saves you the hassle of moving heavy food drive boxes and allows Utah Food Bank to save on resources and get the most-needed items to hungry people. And when you raise cash instead of cans, we can use our remarkable buying power to stretch your donations further than you might think!

With no shopping, no lines, and no lifting, a Virtual Food Drive allows you to “shop” for our most-needed items, plus cover related transportation costs. You can donate as an individual or create a team, and get friends, coworkers, and family involved!  Since you’re “shopping” from home, you can make an impact and help support your community, all without worrying about person-to-person contact.

Even if you can’t get together in person, a Virtual Food Drive is a fun way to come together and unite around a great cause. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and can easily be shared on social media. Families, businesses, church groups, alumni clubs, schools, soccer teams, fraternities, and weddings have all signed up as groups and created a little healthy competition to encourage donations. You can also sign up as an individual and challenge your friends and neighbors to match you.

You could even offer an incentive to participate, like one teen who offered to shave his head if his friends helped him reach his goal, which he blew out of the water! So get creative because the possibilities are unlimited!

Click here to get started now!

 


Many are familiar with the anecdote Mr. Rogers once shared “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It is a beautiful piece of advice to help children find comfort in uncertain times. Unfortunately, for many children, those times are now.

 

Before COVID-19, there were already 1 in 7 children facing food insecurity. Now, due to school closures and job loss, the number has almost certainly grown. The pain of hunger looms large for many. Add to that the fear of sickness, isolation from normal routine and interaction with friends, and loss of traditional group celebrations, and the level of grief and trauma can be devastating.

 

The good news is, there are helpers. While we can’t take this pandemic away, and the effects will be felt for a very long time, there are many on the frontlines offering assistance to those in need. Utah Food Bank is proud to be among those helpers and grateful to all those who have stepped up to partner with us.

 

From the huge effort of many in hosting our largest ever mobile food distribution to an anonymous donation match, and from the generosity of people and organizations, both large and small, to the day-in-day-out work of volunteers and employees across the state, to kids setting up neighborhood lemonade stands and food drives, the response has been swift and overwhelmingly positive.

 

We are proud to say when children look for helpers, they can find us. So if you are looking for a way to help, please consider joining us in Fighting Hunger Statewide.

 

If you need food assistance, call 2-1-1 to find help near you, or find more information here.

 


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