Thousands of Utahns are fighting back against food insecurity.
They joined forces Saturday at the first annual Feed Utah Food Drive.
“We are just helping a little bit, to be a little bit of a part of that,” said Emily Henderson as she pointed to a large semi-truck filled with food.
The small donations and efforts to collect food resulted in a haul of hundreds of thousands of pounds of food benefiting Utah Food Bank.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped organize this event.
Residents were instructed to leave boxes or bags of nonperishable food on their doorsteps.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, volunteers drove through neighborhoods to collect the donations. Everything gathered was dropped off at any of 160 locations across the state.
“We are looking at one of the best food drives in the nation,” said Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt, the first counselor in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Young Men General Presidency. “This is a diverse group from all religions and communities and backgrounds. That says a lot about Utah -- we can come together.”
According to Utah Food Bank, one in five Utah children face food insecurity and are unsure where they’ll get their next meal. Hunger has been magnified for many who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The need is still very high. Our concern is sustainability,” said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of Utah Food Bank. “It will take a lot of these families a while to get back to where they need to be. We need to make sure we are there for them.”
Organizers hoped to collect 1 million pounds of food.
The event will go a long way toward ending hunger, while continuing Utah’s tradition of service.
“Because of this no family is going to hungry,” Corbitt said. “Utahns all over the state are stepping up.”
Those who were unable to donate to this food drive can give to Utah Food Bank.