(Good Things Utah) Back-to-school season is coming at us fast and our kids are soon to be spending their days in the classroom. But while families are preparing their young ones for the new school year, there are many kids of families in need that are just looking for a fresh meal. And with the pandemic and supply chain issues challenging those families in need the most these recent years, hunger is all too common here in Utah.

Studies show that 1 in 7 Utah kids are living food insecure and nearly 14,000 students in Salt Lake City schools don’t know where their next meal will come from. Not only is this concerning for their health and wellbeing, but it also makes the school year difficult for children looking to make the most of their education. USANA Kids Eat, established by the USANA Health Sciences, has made its mission to address this challenge and help make sure no child goes hungry.

In 2021, USANA Kids Eat delivered more than 110,000 meals to children in 65 schools from Ogden to Herriman. The organization has several programs, though their primary is the Weekend Bag Program. This program is funded through community donations and sponsor adoptions and is currently involved in 65 schools. Every week, USANA Kids Eat delivers 930 bags to kids in need every weekend.

While 100% of every dollar donated is for food to feed hungry kids, the rising costs of inflation mean these dollars don’t afford as much as they used to. Putting donations towards food, USANA Kids Eat often relies on the support of their volunteers, with more encouraged to participate.

Donations from the community have done much to fund the cause, but further funding is needed to reach their goal. Adoptive sponsors are also in demand as 88% of schools involved currently have one supporting them.

“We’d like to find a sponsor for every one of our schools,” says Michelle Benedict, Director of USANA Kids Eat. “It creates a connection between the school and the sponsor. They get to be more involved… We’re definitely looking for adoptive sponsors who want to get involved in that way.”

To learn more, sponsor, and donate, go online to USANAKidsEat.org.


**This segment contains sponsored content