Thursday, October 25, 2012

Utah Food Bank

For over 100 years, the Utah Food Bank has stayed true to its mission of serving those in need throughout our state. We work tirelessly with community partners and volunteers to continue making an impact.

Mission Statement: 
Utah Food Bank Fights Hunger Statewide

Hunger in Utah

  • 1 in 10 Utahns, and 1 in 8 Utah children, lives in poverty.
  • An impoverished family of four makes about $22,000 a year to cover health care costs, shelter, food, and other household expenses.
  • Utah is ranked fourth in the nation for the highest rate of very low food security in the nation. About 400,000 Utahns risk missing one meal every day.   
  • More than 134,000 Utahns receive food stamps, and 63,000 eat dinner at a soup kitchen.
  • 1 in 7 Utah children is at risk of hunger, and nearly 40 percent receive free or reduced school lunch.

Food Collection & Distribution

Utah Food Bank staff, volunteers and agencies work together to gather and distribute emergency food to individuals and families experiencing the pain of hunger in Utah. The organization started in 1904 and, since 1977, Utah Food Bank has been the central hub for food collection and distribution in Utah. Our resources include a large warehouse, four semi-tractors, and eight box trucks, as well as our valuable affiliation with Feeding America. With these resources, Utah Food Bank is able to collect, store and distribute large quantities of food for the entire state of Utah.

Food Collection
Utah Food Bank gathers food through a variety of means:
  • Food Drives (9%): Utah Food Bank collects about 8% of its food items from community food drives, coordinated statewide with local agencies. More than three million pounds of food is collected from annual drives.
  • Grocery Rescue (25%): Building partnerships with local grocers has allowed us to receive needed food items that are nearing expiration dates. This highly effective and fast-growing program increases access to perishable foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. Last year, the Grocery Rescue program collected nearly 7.8 million pounds of food through 137 stores and 18 participating agencies.
  • Local Commercial Donations (36%): Local commercial food distributors include growers, manufacturers and retailers. The donated food may consist of seasonal, surplus, discontinued items, or food in damaged containers.
  • National Commercial (9%): As a member of Feeding America, Utah Food Bank has access to food items made available from national vendors, producers and other food banks in the United States. Pickups provide many food resources at the cost of shipping only.
  • Government Commodities (20%): Utah Food Bank is a distributor of USDA commodities allotted for programs and agencies that provide emergency food assistance to Utah residents.
  • Purchasing (1%): On occasion, the Utah Food Bank Services purchases needed food items for distribution. For example, during our annual turkey drive we supplement donated turkeys with a bulk turkey from community donations.

Food Distribution
Utah Food Bank distributes food through a variety of methods:
  • Emergency Food Network: Food is sorted in the Utah Food Bank warehouse and then distributed throughout the state to more than 129 emergency food pantries, agencies, churches, senior centers and after-school programs. Find your local food pantry here.
  • Senior Food Box Program: Through the Senior Food Box Program, Utah Food Bank volunteers deliver monthly supplemental food to low-income, homebound senior citizens who are unable to access the emergency food network. Currently, we deliver about 2,100 food boxes monthly. A food box contains up to a week's worth of non-perishable food, along with milk and produce when available.
  • Kids Cafe: The Kids Cafe program provides free meals and snacks at 21 after-school programs. Sites include Boys & Girls Clubs, public schools, and community centers. Each weekday, Utah Food Bank's in-house chef prepares 1,300 meals for children who might not eat until the following morning.
  • Mobile Pantry: The Mobile Food Pantry program distributes food such as fresh produce, dairy products, deli products, and non-perishables to 24 low-income neighborhoods throughout the state of Utah. Last year, over 763,000 pounds of food was distributed through the Mobile Food Pantry program.

Your Contribution Makes a Difference
Utah Food Bank can turn a $1 donation into $8 of food and services. This is made possible by wonderful volunteer support and generous food donations. To make a donation, click here.

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