WASHINGTON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – Feeding America reports that more than 35,000 Southern Utahns face food insecurity, meaning they’re at risk of going without a meal.
Many in Washington County gathered Thursday at the opening of the mobile food pantry. Staff at the Utah Food Bank and Dixie Sunrise Rotary volunteers said they’re excited about the opportunity to impact thousands in the area.
Hurricane resident Emily Howard said it can be difficult at times to keep food on the table for her two kids.
“It’s really a blessing, you know? We’re really thankful,” said Howard. “We work really hard but every now and then just between our paychecks, it’s just really hard to make ends meet.”
Feeding America data shows that in Washington County alone over 20,000 people are food insecure.
“We have quite a surprising amount of people, even in our community, that have those needs,” said Washington City mayor Ken Neilson.
On the last Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., those in need can pick up 10 to 15 food items.
The site is located on the corner of Telegraph Street and Main Street in Washington.
“I think it will be a milestone in the fight against hunger in Washington,” said Utah Food Bank CEO Ginette Bott. “11:00 to 1:00 gives us the ability to have people who might be on lunch break from work and can swing by if they need to.”
Staff at the Utah Food Bank said Washington City doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar pantry, so this site will help those in the county in need of services closer to home.
“If they need to have another meal, let’s get it for them,” said Dixie Sunrise Rotary volunteer David Nelson. “Let’s start supporting the people who are out here in need.”
Washington County residents in need said even one day a month is enough to give them hope.
It’s a good thing for humanity,” said Howard. “It’s just the best of humanity going on.”
The site is open to the public and completely free of charge.