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CORONAVIRUS: STRONGER TOGETHER

Farmers Feeding Utah Saves Ogden Food Pantry After Break-In

Jul 29, 2020, 7:21 PM | Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 10:01 am

OGDEN, Utah – Following a break-in overnight, Farmers Feeding Utah stepped in to help the Salvation Army food pantry in Ogden just hours before they opened for a food distribution on Wednesday.

The Salvation Army needed all the help they could get after burglars broke into the building and stole food and a computer.

The break-in happened as people, such as Heather Hathaway, began to line up Wednesday.

Things have been tough for her family since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“Very tough. Yeah. I’m struggling,” said Hathaway while sitting in her car. “You know, I work from home and my husband is working, we still can’t make it.”

That’s what brought her to the Ogden Salvation Army drive-thru food pantry Wednesday morning.

She needed food.

“I mean, you come to my house and open my freezer and it’s completely empty,” she said. “I just think to myself, what can I do? I can’t buy food right now because all my money is going to bills.”

The pantry opens at 10 a.m.

Hathaway arrived at 9:15 a.m.

“What does it mean to me? It means to me God put really precious people on this earth with good hearts,” she said.

There was no way for Hathaway to know someone with a bad heart, or at least bad intentions, almost kept her and others from getting enough food.

“Well, we had a break-in,” said Ogden Major Dan Wilson.

It’s a good thing Wilson has a sense of humor.

He runs the Ogden chapter of the Salvation Army and doesn’t understand why someone broke in the night before to steal from a place that helps others get by.

“We do deal with the homeless. We deal with low-income families. We deal with people affected by coronavirus,” said Wilson. “There has been a lot of disruptions in people’s lives that are causing them to have different points in time that they’re needing food and needing help.”

Whoever broke into the building came in through a window.

The person, or group of people, stole a computer and other items.

A window at the Salvation Army building in Ogden was broken overnight.

However, the biggest concern for the Salvation Army was the food they took.

Garbage bags full.

It was enough to notice.

“They kind of made a mess of the place,” said Heidi LeBlanc.

LeBlanc is with the group Farmers Feeding Utah.

This past Monday, Farmers Feeding Utah held an event in Salt Lake City to give away food to those who needed it.

It’s part of an ongoing effort where people donate to the cause, which then purchases surplus meat and produce from farmers who can’t bring the items to market because processing facilities are closed.

Farmers Feeding Utah then donates the food to food banks and pantries across the state where it’s needed.

After Monday’s event, Farmers Feeding Utah held lots of leftover food, so LeBlanc started making some phone calls.

“We had some carrots, some potatoes, salami and some eggs left over,” she said. “We were trying to figure out where to get the food out so it didn’t go to waste and looking at pantries. So (we) called a couple and they didn’t answer.”

However, workers at Ogden’s Salvation Army did answer, just as they were cleaning damage from the break-in and wondering how to make sure Wednesday’s pantry drive-through would have enough food.

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” said LeBlanc. “I think it’s totally a blessing for all of us.”

Volunteers unloaded an 18-wheeler Wednesday morning at the Ogden Salvation Army, separated it and then started giving it to people who were waiting.

People like Hathaway, who now have one less thing to worry about.

“It touches my heart,” she said.

It all happened just in time.

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Farmers Feeding Utah Saves Ogden Food Pantry After Break-In