The Place

Actions

Farmers Feeding Utah could be one of the best things to come from 2020, and it's continuing into 2021

Posted at 1:30 PM, Jan 08, 2021

This could be one of the best things to come from 2020!

Farmers Feeding Utah is an organization that helps Utah's farmers and ranchers and consumers at the same time.

"We always felt like we had the most stable food supply you could ever have. And, all of a sudden come March of 2020, you walk into the local Smith's store and there's absolutely nothing on the shelves. There's no protein, no dairy, no meat... fresh vegetables are gone," says Rob Gibson, President of Utah Farm Bureau and a sixth generation dairy farmer.

At the same time, farmers and ranchers were struggling to sell their food.

Gibson says before the pandemic, places like restaurants, hotels and cruise ships were buying roughly half of the food in the country.

"And all of a sudden, just like that, most of that stopped in its tracks. Couldn't go to a restaurant, can't go on a cruise, hotels are empty, there aren't big banquets. And so that overloaded the grocery system because now the grocery stores that are used to selling 50 percent of our food now have to sell 90 percent of our food," Gibson says.

So, Farmers Feeding Utah was born. They buy food from local producers and give to those in Utah who are hungry.

Since the very beginning a lot of Utahns have stepped up to help buy the food, donating what they can from just a few dollars to $500 and more.

Farmers Feeding Utah is helping all over the state, including a special delivery when ranchers took 600 sheep to the Navajo Nation. Gibson says "They (the farmers) would get out and walk to the back of their trucks to unload their sheep with tears running down their eyes and so happy that they could be involved in such a miraculous thing."

Because of the work Farmers Feeding Utah is doing, Aubriana Martindale with smithsfoodanddrug.com, presented him with this month's Zero Hunger Hero award in partnership with Fox 13.

For more information or to donate please visit farmersfeedingutah.org.