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Places to volunteer, donate to those in need on Thanksgiving in Utah

Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 21:11:38-05

SALT LAKE CITY — In every corner of Utah, there are people working to make life better for families facing hard times during the holidays.

Around the state, thousands of Thanksgiving meals have already been distributed to families in need, but every organization needs help and many have creative ways for people to pitch in.

Those helping the less fortunate, from Logan to Heber to Park City to St. George, said their needs are high this year with inflation hitting so many Utah families.

"We are definitely seeing increased need," said Linda Stay with Switchpoint. "Our food pantry went from serving 300 - 400 families weekly to 500-700 families. The soup kitchen has seen the same increase: up 27%. These are people that never had to rely on assistance before. Our shelter is also at capacity and having to turn people away."

In Ogden, the Lantern House has a great way to help with their "Miracle on 33rd" program where residents can sponsor a homeless family or a child for the holidays.

For those in the Salt Lake Valley who have free time Tuesday morning, MOSAIC InterFaith Ministries is organizing a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. Volunteers are asked to show up at 8 a.m. where they will organize boxes that include everything a family needs for a full holiday meal.

"We will serve at least 400 households, and that represents about 2,000 people. And really, every person that serves comes away with a really good feeling," shared Dr. Leslie Whited, CEO of MOSAIC InterFaith Ministries.

Tabitha's Way in Utah County will be providing for families at their locations in both their American Fork and Spanish Fork food pantries. Volunteers can find a page with kit ideas from children's Christmas stockings to necessities for newborn babies.

Below are some more Utah organizations where volunteers are welcome:

  • Cache Community Food Pantry - Giving meals Tuesday and Wednesday. All volunteer slots filled, but they are still taking donations, and their website lists ideas for creative donations.
  • Lantern House/St. Anne's Center - Volunteers are always welcome with Lunch Service between 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., and dinner from 4:45 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Heber Valley Center Stage - Those looking to volunteer can sign up on the website for food pantry and thrift store locations in Park City and Heber.
  • Switchpoint - Various donations needed, including towels, washcloths, blankets, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, foil pans, to-go containers, disposable forks, bowls, cups, gift cards and bus passes.

Additional volunteering opportunities all across the state can be found on the United Way website.