On Saturday, March 20, faith-based congregations, organizations and residents throughout Utah will collaborate with Utah Food Bank for the first annual statewide Feed Utah food drive. Residents across the state will receive door hangers during the days leading up to the food drive, and Utah Food Bank asks the public to help by placing a bag of non-perishable food outside their front door by 9am on Saturday, March 20 for pickup by volunteers. Donated food will be distributed to Utah Food Bank and its 203 partner agencies across the state.
These donations will help provide food to the estimated 511,000 Utahns and 1 in 5 Utah kids, who are unsure where their next meal will come from. The number of Utahns facing hunger number has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic, and many are Utahns who facing hunger for the first time. The Feed Utah food drive will bring together the power of Utah’s diverse religions, communities and organizations in the fight against hunger—all while adhering to strict social distancing recommendations and safety protocols. This effort is the result of partnerships with Associated Food Stores, JustServe, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the NAACP, Bonneville Salt Lake (KSL TV, KSL Newsradio, FM100.3 and 103.5 The Arrow), the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah Alliance and the Utah National Guard.
Donated food should be commercially packaged (non-glass), non-perishable and nutritious items (ideally low-sodium and low-sugar items). Most-needed food items include beef stew, chili, peanut butter, boxed meals, canned meats and canned fruits and vegetables. For more information about Feed Utah or to find a local food pantry, visit www.utahfoodbank.org/feedutah.
“It is rewarding to see so many partners working alongside us to fight hunger statewide” said Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO. “This effort comes at a crucial time as donations from the holidays are starting to thin. After last year’s cancelled statewide food drives and events, we are looking forward to the ability to mobilize our diverse and generous community to help their neighbors in need.”
According to Bob Obray, President & CEO of Associated Food Stores, “Food isn’t a choice—it’s a necessity. We know food insecurity has always been an issue in our communities, but COVID-19 brought on an entirely new challenge. We’re grateful to be in a position to help make a difference for our neighbors who have the most need by participating in the Feed Utah food drive.”
“The young women and young men of Utah are incredible! We knew that if help was needed, the youth would be a source of strength and service. We are excited for them to volunteer and help collect food donations that will bless neighbors and communities throughout Utah,” said Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, general president of the Young Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “This service is a perfect opportunity to carry out the Children and Youth program’s encouragement that youth care for those in need. We invite youth to include all their friends. Together we can make a difference – and have a lot of fun.”
“There are many people in need in Utah right now and we are encouraging everyone to please place some non-perishable food on their porch on Saturday. Even if it’s a small donation, collectively, it will go toward helping those in need,” said Elder Evan A. Schmutz, of the Utah Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.