‘Farmers Feeding Utah’ helping families during record inflation

Jul 8, 2022, 5:28 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm

SANDY, Utah — It wasn’t the most popular place to get food Thursday morning. However, chances are the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy was one of the most important.

Anybody who needed food could stop by and get some — for free.

“We have potatoes, hamburger, pork, onions, and some other items,” said Clayton Beckstead.

It’s all thanks to the group Farmers Feeding Utah.

“We are just trying to help people fight inflation and high prices,” said Beckstead, who works with Farmers Feeding Utah. “Honestly, it warms my heart. As Utahns, this is what we do. We help each other, right?”

Farmers Feeding Utah was created at the beginning of the COVID pandemic as a way to help farmers find a market for their products as things shut down.

People donated money to Farmers Feeding Utah online, which then buys products from farmers, instead of farmers throwing it all out, and then donates the items to food banks and pantries.

The idea was a huge success. It helped farmers who needed money and families who needed food.

“We covered every single county in the state of Utah,” Beckstead said.

Now, though, Farmers Feeding Utah is seeing an increased need for food because of inflation.

Many families are having a tough time affording enough food, so the Utah Farm Bureau decided to organize another one of its Farmers Feeding Utah events.

They teamed up with other groups to do it.

“We advertise out that this food is here, and so we invite them to come and come through and get all the Utah local grown produce,” said Heidi LeBlanc with the Utah State University Extension Home and Community Department.

Lots of people came through. They stayed in their cars while volunteers put boxes and bags of food in their trunks and back seats.

There was even a group visiting from the Iowa Farm Bureau. They wanted to see how Utah did this event, maybe thinking of starting a similar program.

“We didn’t know how one of these things worked, but now we saw it and we got through it,” said Joe Dierickx with the Iowa Farm Bureau.

It’s all about helping families who need food, no matter where they are.

“It’s just a beautiful thing, honestly,” Beckstead said.

Farmers Feeding Utah is planning future events based on need.

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‘Farmers Feeding Utah’ helping families during record inflation