More Utahns facing food insecurities; food pantries work to keep everyone fed

Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 19:24:14-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Of the many challenges 2020 has brought for people, one of those comes in the form of financial issues.

Many people have lost their jobs, lost wages or hours, and need some extra help this year. The need for food assistance is greater than ever.

“With the cold weather hitting and as many COVID cases as we’ve had, the need is definitely increasing,” Bountiful Community Food Pantry executive director Maresha Bosgieter said.

According to Ginette Bott, President and CEO of the Utah Food Bank, many of the people asking for help are doing so for the first time.

“So many of these people had no idea how to go about getting help. They had never had to do that before. It has been sad to watch,” Bott said.

RELATED: Utahns' need for food assistance triples as donations to Utah Food Bank decrease

There has been a wide range of people who need extra help from food to rental assistance.

“A lot of [people working in] the service industry, restaurants and bars, anything entertainment-related. Even a lot of people who do work in someone’s home,” Bosgieter said.

Bosgieter urges those who wish to make donations to be cautious and take the time to ensure donations are going to people who really need it.

“There are, unfortunately, some people who do try to take advantage of those situations and so, the part that is better [about] going through a nonprofit is we really know that it is a family in need,” Bosgieter said.

Bott said she is impressed with the number of Utah residents and organizations who've been contributing to people in need, but there is still work to be done.

“Please be aware, please look around. See people who are in need and don’t know where to go or how to ask. We ask you to be our stewards and suggest to them that they go to a pantry in their neighborhood or call 211 and just simply use their zip code,” Bott said.

To donate to Utah Food Bank, click here.

For more information on making safe, legitimate donations, click here.

Resources for Utahns in need: