SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Food Bank provided 28 million meals to those in need in 2012, and volunteers are a huge part of the efforts to collect, sort and distribute food across the state.
Malcolm Lamson is one of the many people who volunteers at the Utah Food Bank.
“I never realized before I came here how many hungry people there are in Utah,” he said.
Lamson said he has never missed a meal, and he spent the day sorting food for others in need. He said he can’t help but think of how the food passing through his hands might change the lives of the families who receive it.
“If I do my little thing every week, it's my contribution to society,” he said.
Ginette Bott, chief marketing officer for the Utah Food Bank, said they continually refill the shelves and freezers of 135 pantries across the state. She said that’s made possible by donations.
“You'll always hear me ask for three things: food, time, and money,” she said.
Lamson said he enjoys helping others, and he tries to teach his grandchildren to do the same.
"Now that I'm retired I have the time to give back, and I do it,” he said. “A couple of times I've brought my grandchildren here with me, Taylor and Josh, and they've helped out. They're 15 and 11.”
Lamson said the visits have been eye-opening for the teens.
“They learned there are a lot of hungry people, and they never dreamed there'd be this much food to be dispersed in the state,” he said.
Bott said they have several regular volunteers.
“We have volunteer groups that come here weekly, some come monthly,” she said.
Utah Food Bank officials and volunteers said they can always use more helping hands, and children as young as 5 are able to volunteer.
“People like me that have been here a couple of years will help you along,” Lamson said. “It's quite easy, and the people here are very nice and very happy to help you.”
Donations for the Utah Food Bank are being accepted at all Cyprus Credit Union locations during the month of September. Click here for more information on the ways you can help the Utah Food Bank.