Volunteers, employees at Utah Food Bank work to combat hunger

Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-29 00:19:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY – With the holidays approaching, demands on the Utah Food Bank will peak soon—but the food bank is always busy and looking for help.

Utah Food Bank officials said one in five Utah children don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and they said this “invisible epidemic” also touches the lives of seniors, veterans and others.

“I never realized until I came here how many hungry people there are in Utah,” Utah Food Bank volunteer Malcolm Lamson said.

The food bank provided about 28 million meals to the hungry last year with the help of volunteers like Lamson.

“I think I'm doing my thing, helping people,” Lamson said.

Utah Food Bank employees also work to meet the needs of the hungry, like Mike Wasson, who works in the grocery rescue program to salvage food.

“Food that's only got a couple days left, like a gallon of milk that's only good for another three days, we can take that and hand it out, and somebody can use that,” he said.

Chef Randy Halverson, Utah Food Bank, has served thousands of meals to kids in after school programs, and he said the need for help is always there.

“It's a rewarding thing we do here, but it's also kind of haunting because there's no end to it,” he said.

Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank chief marketing officer, said the need has been greater during the last 5 years, due to the bad economy.

"Many of the folks who were our donors became our recipients--just based on situations that occurred with their life," she said.

And Bott said they need all of the help they can get.

“So you'll always hear me ask for three things: food, time, and money,” Bott said. “We figure, those three things, they'll keep us going.”

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.