SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – How do we help during the pandemic? Utah Pride Center staff asked themselves the question. Their answer? Team up with the food bank and help get food out to people who don’t have any, or face food insecurity

What is food insecurity? According to UPC Community Development Manager Michael Bryant, food insecurity can be a lot of things but they say. ” It doesn’t have to mean you are starving or you don’t have food on your shelf, it can be something like suddenly your kids are at home and you weren’t budgeting for that you weren’t planning on feeding them three meals a day.”

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The pandemic created a lot of challenges, from employment, to social distancing, getting supplies and staying safe. Some found themselves overwhelmed.

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The Utah Pride Center’s Clinical Director Joshua Bravo relayed a message to ABC4 News to show the importance of the help this was passed forward from someone who the center helped. “I have trouble making friends because of my severe social anxiety. It’s worse now. I really hate media like Zoom because I loathe looking at myself. I avoid mirrors at the best of times. This just makes it worse.  As a disabled, low-income person who doesn’t drive, I feel frustrated that so many things are set up so only people who drive can access them. I can’t pick up groceries and my anxiety doesn’t let me go to grocery stores with the lines that are six feet apart, so I end up paying for grocery delivery. I can’t access most food banks. The Pride Center is doing a food distribution and a friend offered to bring me a box and I appreciate it, but I would never feel comfortable asking someone to take me to a food bank.”

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Nick Arteaga, the center’s Community Programs coordinator adds, “The Pride Center’s mission is to serve all of those in need, no gender policing or anything like that, we want everyone to feel safe.”

As people drove in, you could see their smiles, of relief and joy, the community working together to help each other during this pandemic a moment of connection in what is for now a separated world.

If anyone needs immediate help please contact the Pride Center directly at 801-539-8800 or online at

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