Some Utah food banks, pantries short on donations ahead of holiday season

Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 20:50:54-05

SALT LAKE CIT -- Thursday officially marks one week away from Thanksgiving, and places like the Utah Food Bank say they can use all the donations they can get.

Some food banks and pantries in Utah say they aren't seeing as many donations as they have in years past.

“I think just because of how warm the weather has been, and all of the fascination over the elections this year, that people haven't been thinking about how close we are to Thanksgiving,” said Maresha Bosgieter, a Director with Catholic Community Services in Northern Utah.

The Catholic Community Services center in Ogden says things have been slower for them.

“So as of Friday we had 13 turkeys and hams donated in all, and when we're looking at giving out 1,500 baskets, it's a little daunting,” Bosgieter said.

Since then, many people have stepped up. After a large donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, along with contributions from community members, they're now about 400 turkeys short.

“We've had a lot of response this week, which is great, but we're not quite there,” Bosgieter said.

The Utah Food Bank tells Fox 13 News they're on track for donations, but their Human Race still needs to pick up the pace.

“What we're anxious for is our race on Thanksgiving Day," said Ginette Bott, Chief Development Officer for the Utah Food Bank . "The Utah Human Race is a 5 and a 10K race, this will be our 11th year. It's held in Draper, and registration is kind of lagging behind where it’s been other years."

The money raised from the race helps stack the food bank shelves for the 423,000 Utahns who face food insecurity. Bott said those who donate may not realize how much their donation means to those in need.

“I was a single mom at one point and homeless, we lived in a car for a period of time and we really struggled, and I think those experiences in my life have helped me to understand the audience that we're trying to serve here,” Bott said.

Bott was once homeless before becoming a successful businesswoman. She later decided to give up the corporate world so she could give back. She says anything helps.

Nearly every local grocery store has a collection barrel for food banks this holiday season, and for every dollar in donations that the Utah Food Bank receives they are able to provide about $7 worth of food.

To donate time, food or money to the Utah Food Bank, click here.

For information on the Human Race, click here.

To volunteer or donate to Catholic Community Services, click here.