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

Food insecurity is often impossible to identify from the outside. It can look like a family with three kids who have a house and two cars. But from the inside, one parent got laid off due to COVID-19, and now they’re having trouble making ends meet on just one income. It can look like the senior couple on a fixed income who never had trouble paying bills, but now unexpected medical expenses have stretched their budget beyond their ability to keep up. Hunger can look like your neighbor, your friend, your family. Hunger can look like you.

 

Our new statistics are in, and the figures are startling. There are now over 511,000 Utahns facing food insecurity, including 1 in 5 children. Chances are you know someone unsure how they’re going to feed their family and pay their necessary bills. For many Utahns, this pandemic has been catastrophic.

 

Many of us have heard stories of the Great Depression and how difficult it was. The economic recession we are currently in due to the pandemic is just as bad, and the fall out will be long-lasting and incredibly challenging. Many are seeking food assistance that never needed it before and never expected to need help. It can be a scary process and produce feelings of humiliation and failure in those who are already struggling. There is no reason to feel ashamed for needing food assistance. We all need help sometimes, and that’s what Utah Food Bank is here to provide. We aim to do so in a way that helps people maintain a sense of dignity and worth.

 

Our mission is Fighting Hunger Statewide, and we strive to reach as many Utahns as possible, with 203 partner agencies, 40 mobile pantry sites, 85 mobile school pantry sites, and 106 active Kids Cafe programs. We have ramped up our distribution through these channels to meet the rising need and distributed 44.1 million meals in the past year. That’s 52.9 million pounds!

 

An example of some of our work since the pandemic turned everything upside down.

 

We are proud to announce that your monetary donations now stretch even further, with every dollar now equating to $8.03 worth of goods and services, and 96 cents of every dollar given still goes directly towards feeding people in need. We’ve been working with a dramatic decrease in volunteers and an increase in safety protocols, but our dedicated staff has come through in astonishing ways. Along with the profound outpouring of help from our community, they have enabled us to continue meeting the increased need of our neighbors, friends, and family. With your continued support, we are confident we will continue to meet that need.


The Utah Human Race is a go!

 
COVID-19 has required us to make a lot of changes so that we can continue our mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide while also caring for the health of our volunteers, employees, and clients. That has included changes to our operations and many of our events, and the Utah Human Race is no exception.
 
Seeing everyone Thanksgiving morning, many decked out in fun costumes, is one of the highlights of our year, but unfortunately, safety concerns have required us to cancel our regular race. However, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without our annual race, so we’ve switched to a virtual race this year. This way, the tradition can continue, but we’re bringing it to you! Of course, we are also continuing our tradition of supporting our work with all the proceeds from this race, so you will still be able to help us fight hunger with every step.
 

I’m in! Now what?

 
Registration is open now, and you can Run With an Attitude of Gratitude any time between November 1 and 27. You can complete a 5K or a 10K, and the cost for either one is $30 and includes a t-shirt.
 
Once you register, you will receive your t-shirt and bib in the mail, but the earlier you register, the more likely you’ll get your shirt in time for your race. You’ll also get all the tools you need to start a team or to ask your friends and family to support your efforts with a donation. Once you’ve completed your race, you can submit your results online and see how you stacked up against everyone else! Just be sure to register by November 24 at 5 pm, because we will close registration at that time.
 

We want to see you!

 
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family and tag us in your social media when you race! You can share your run with us by using the #utahhumanrace2020 hashtag or tagging @utahfoodbank. We may even share your social media posts with our followers, ESPECIALLY if you still wear a fun costume! We will miss the fun and community of seeing the nearly 5,000 people who participate every year in person, and we would love to see your posts about the race!
 
Please join us in making this virtual race a fun and memorable one! Many Utah families are facing empty cupboards instead of feasts this Thanksgiving, and you can make a difference. Your support and participation are what make the Utah Human Race so great!
 


Sign Up!

 


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!

 


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