SALT LAKE CITY, Utah(News4Utah) All day long on News4Utah, we’re addressing the issue of hunger in our state. This morning, Ginette Bott from the Utah Food Bank, joined Brian Carlson, to talk about what’s being done to resolve this problem, and how you can help.
Ginette says they have a statewide network of more than 149 partner agencies. This could consist of emergency food pantries, regional food banks, and congregate feeding sites such as soup kitchens. They are one of a handful of food banks nationwide who distribute this food free of charge to partner agencies.
Utah Food Bank also has several direct food programs:
Kids Cafe: this program prepares and distributes close to 2,200 nutritious meals daily to children who may not get dinner that evening at more than 78 after-school sites. Last year, they provided over 405,000 Kids Cafe meals for at-risk kids.
Mobile School Pantry: visits 67 local schools each month of the school year. Last school year, Utah Food Bank reached over 234,000 clients through this program, of which 130,000 were children. Mobile Pantries provide additional support to Utahns facing hunger in communities that are underserved by traditional brick-and-mortar pantries and in areas classified as food deserts.
BackPack Program: when kids are out of school for the weekend, they miss school meal programs, and many don’t have food at home to get them through the weekend. Last year they distributed close to 56,000 backpacks to children to ensure hunger-free weekends.
Food Box Program: Last year Utah Food Bank delivered close to 44,000 food boxes containing about a week’s worth of food to homebound seniors and people with disabilities. Most of these boxes are delivered by volunteers, and are delivered once a month.
For more information on ways you can help fight the hunger problem here in Utah, visit UtahFoodBank.org.