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Unified Fire Authority and the Utah Highway Patrol battled Dec. 18, 2019, to see who could load hams into a truck the fastest. The hams were distributed to the Utah Food Bank and Catholic Community Services. (Photo: Derek Petersen, KSL TV)
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UHP Vs. Unified Fire: Which Department Can Load Hams For Charity The Fastest?

MILLCREEK, Utah – Utah Highway Patrol troopers and Unified Fire Authority firefighters went head to head in a contest Wednesday to which department who could stack the hams the fastest into the back of a loading truck.

The friendly competition is part of the Hams For Hunger program for people who need a little extra help this holiday season.

“It was fun,” said John Sumner with UFA Station 112 in Olympus Cove. “It was a fun way to do a service project.”

Once the boxes were loaded, they were taken to the Utah Food Bank and Catholic Community Services.

It’s the first time Hormel and Macy’s in Millcreek have turned Hams For Hunger into a friendly battle between firefighters and troopers.

“They were a lot heavier than we were expecting,” said UHP Cpl. Colton Freckleton. “(It was) close to a tie breaker, but the firefighters won.”

In the end, 3,400 hams will go to families in need throughout Utah.

“We distributed, last year, about 78 million pounds of food,” said Ginette Bott with the Utah Food Bank. “If you think about that divided into those 29 counties, that tells us hunger is an issue in every single county. But what’s more startling than the 12% of the population who needs the help is really one in seven of those are children.”

Local law enforcement and the crew at the neighborhood fire station jumped at the opportunity when officials at Associated Foods asked them to participate.

“We’re thankful for them for asking us to come help and be a part of this generosity,” Freckleton said.

Added Sumner, “This is the kind of thing I’d even do on my day off.”

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