Mixed results for food drive while demand for assistance stays high

May 16, 2022, 6:51 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 10:53 pm

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — After a two-year break because of the pandemic, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returned on Saturday with mixed results.

Preliminary numbers show some areas saw donations drop even as the demand for food assistance stays high in Utah.

“We’re still calculating numbers,” said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank. “We do have Salt Lake numbers and we were down about 12%. St. George numbers are in and they’re down about 24%.”

That’s compared to the last Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in 2019. Bott said they are still sorting through the donations and that she’s hoping the percentages improve.

The food drive relies on letter carriers to collect food across the state. It’s one of the largest, single-day drives in the nation.

One bright spot of the food drive: Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry in American Fork.

“We did about three times more,” said Kara Smith, the pantry’s community outreach coordinator.

The food pantry is busy sorting through the large increase in donations compared to 2019. The pantry said letter carriers in American Fork, Lehi and Pleasant Grove collected the donations.

“More than half of our donations came from Lehi,” Smith said.

Smith attributes the increase in donations to a rapidly growing population in north Utah County.

Pantry at Tabitha’s Way in American Fork.

The extra food comes at a good time as the pantry is seeing more families stop by for food.

“We’re actually up 200 to 300 more families a month that are coming in for food,” Smith said.

During the pandemic, demand for food assistance across Utah nearly doubled and hasn’t dropped.

“We were so hopeful when COVID kind of quieted down a bit people would get back to what we call ‘normal,’” Bott said. “But that didn’t happen because of inflation. All of sudden, grocery prices went up, gas prices went up.”

In the years leading up to the pandemic, the Utah Food Bank distributed around 43 million pounds of food a year. That jumped to more than 70 million pounds during the pandemic, and this fiscal year, which ends next month, the food bank is on track to distribute around 68 million pounds.

Even with donations down in some areas, Bott said the fact that the food drive happened makes it successful and thanked the letter carriers for their hard work.

“Saturday was a great day,” Bott said. “We have to remember that two years had passed since we did this kind of event.”

She said Utahns can still help by giving food, time or money. For more information, visit the Utah Food Bank website.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Michael Houck

South Jordan police investigate suspicious death involving vehicle fire

South Jordan Police are looking into a "suspicious" death involving a vehicle fire that happened on Thanksgiving.
19 hours ago
Local customers shop celebrate Small Business Saturday at Beehive Naturals (KSL-TV)...
Karah Brackin

Utah businesses see support during Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday marks a day to celebrate and support the small businesses in a community, many of which depend on the influx of shoppers coming in.
19 hours ago
West Valley police officers respond as a protest at the West Valley City Police Department is disru...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Utah Man pleads guilty to pepper spraying Black Lives Matter protesters

A man pled guilty on Tuesday to hitting Black Lives Matter protesters with pepper spray at a demonstration in West Valley City in September 2020 as part of a plea deal.
19 hours ago
A trash can fire that Mountain Green officials say is suspicious. (Mountain Green Fire Protection D...
Michael Houck

Mountain Green fire crews take down ‘suspicious’ trash can fire

First responders extinguished a burning trash can Friday evening, replicating a fire from a year ago in the Mountain Green area.
19 hours ago
The family with Baby Charlie in a living room....
Andrew Adams

Couple gives thanks to EMT who delivered baby unexpectedly-early

Mikaella and Preston Clark were hoping to make it to Utah Valley Hospital on Aug. 17 to give birth via VBAC to Charlie, when it appeared Charlie didn’t want to wait.
19 hours ago
A man already accused of aggravated human trafficking is now charged with trying to tamper with wit...
Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

2 men arrested for allegedly enticing minors online and by text

Two men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly enticing minors by internet or text, according to law enforcement.
19 hours 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.
Mixed results for food drive while demand for assistance stays high