Biden/Harris MLK fundraiser nearing $50K for Utah Food Bank

The Utah Biden/Harris Inauguration Day of Service Committee announced today that a new matching grant could help push its Martin Luther King Day fundraiser for Utah Food Bank close to $50,000. The committee also announced that Salt Lake City and County Mayors Mendenhall and Wilson have endorsed the statewide effort.


Already, 84 donors have contributed over $30,000. The new $10,000 match from Patrice Arent, David Mock and the Boulder Mountain Lodge (in Boulder Utah) will match donations from $25,868 (the level reached before the match) up to $35,828. If reached, that would put the total, including the match at $45,828.

As of Sunday evening, more than $3,000 in public donations had been received toward the matching grant and putting the tally of donations over $30,000.

Kem and Carolyn Garnder pledged $10,000 to match public donations to the fund. The match was earned in under 48 hours. Through the inauguration on January 20, 2021, readers can go to to see who has already donated and to give. 

Patrice Arent, who recently retired from the Utah House of Representatives and also served in the Utah Senate, said, “We are thrilled to match donations to the Utah Food Bank because the need is so much greater now and we want to encourage more Utahns to donate. This is a great way for us to show we can come together in a time of crisis.”

County Mayor Jenny Wilson endorsed the fundraiser, saying, “I so appreciate incoming President Biden’s focus on service as a fundamental element of his inauguration as President. President-Elect Biden continues to show leadership and concern over everyday Americans. I am so happy to support the Utah Food Bank in honor of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and in celebration of our new people-oriented administration.”

City Mayor Erin Mendenall expressed her support, “Every year I look forward to celebrating Martin Luther King’s legacy with the Utah Food Bank. This year’s day of service will take shape differently from what it’s been in the past. But, while I’m looking forward to being back packing boxes when it’s safe in the future, I’m grateful that in a time when the Utah Food Bank needs all the support we can give them, President-Elect Biden is bringing us together with a safe way to contribute.”

In addition, on Tuesday, January 19, 20201 at 3:30, former County Councilwoman Shireen Ghorbani is leading a local effort in participation with the nationwide memorial led by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to ring bells at houses of worship to show respect for those who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Wednesday’s inauguration represents a new beginning. It is appropriate for us to pause on Tuesday to recognize the tremendous loss our community and our country has faced over the past year,” Ghorbani said. “This is a time to come together to mourn.”

The Utah Biden/Harris Inauguration Day of Service Committee partnered with the Utah Democratic Party and the Pioneer Park Coalition to raise funds.