CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Utah Food Bank Demand Triples Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Dec 1, 2020, 4:23 PM | Updated: 9:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The holiday season, and December in particular, is typically the best time of year for donations at the Utah Food Bank. But, this year, the food bank and many people who need their help are struggling in this pandemic.

“We’re seeing virtual food drives. We’re seeing donations coming to us online. But, that heartfelt holiday food drive spirit isn’t the same that it has been in years past, and we’re missing that,” said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank.

Many Utah families are struggling to put food on the table. One in five kids in Utah don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Bott said the demand has grown since the beginning of the pandemic.

“2020 has been like no other year the food bank has ever, ever seen,” she said.

The extra demand for food started soon after the coronavirus arrived, and people started to lose their jobs, or hours at work.

“Service industry jobs? Today they had a job, tomorrow they didn’t,” said Bott. “How long can those people go without needing help.”

The president and CEO of the food bank said the organization decided not to panic, rather to be prepared.

“One of the saddest things that we’ve watched here is that so many people were first time users of these types of services,” she said.

Today, 40% of the people who now need help to feed their families in Utah never had to ask before.

“It was sad to see that they had to be put in that position because of nothing they did, but, simply of circumstance.”

Before the pandemic, the Utah Food Bank typically distributed two million pounds of food each month to 203 food pantries across the state. By the time coronavirus had been in Utah for a month, that amount had tripled. They are now distributing six million pounds of food each month. Part of the problem: the pandemic eliminated a lot of food drives at work, and in our neighborhoods.

“The need and the increase has been very, very sobering,” said Bott.

For those who can help, the Utah Food Bank always needs food, money, and volunteers. Right now, they’re only welcoming small groups of volunteers who need to call ahead for proper procedures. But, on this Giving Tuesday, any donation you make will be matched.

“This is a crucial time,” said Bott. “Our kids shouldn’t go hungry.”

It’s a great time to go online at utahfoodbank.org and donate if you can. You can also drop food in the bins at any Harmon’s Grocery or take to the Utah Food Bank at 3150 South 900 West.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
3 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
...
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Utah Food Bank Demand Triples Amid Coronavirus Pandemic