Local Pantry struggles with growing need from families who need help

Oct 18, 2022, 5:41 PM | Updated: 7:47 pm

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — As inflation intensifies for Utah families, more of them are having a tougher time putting food on the table. Tabitha’s Way Food Pantry in American Fork is struggling to keep up with the growing demand.

Like other food pantries in the state, it is seeing a surge of new families in need.

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Tabitha’s Way food pantry is able to go back to in-store distribution.

Clients get to go through the pantry with a cart and pick out the foods that they like and that their families will eat. During the pandemic, families had to pick up food in boxes outside.

Right now, Tabitha’s Way is having a hard time keeping the warehouse and the pantry shelves stocked.

“Our numbers have gone up substantially just in the past six months,” said Kara Smith, social outreach coordinator for Tabitha’s Way Food Pantry.

The pantry estimated demand is up 50% from last year. In July, it saw 70 new families, and in August 150 new families. Now 25 to 30 new families show up each week.

Ginette Bott, President and CEO of the Utah Food Bank released a statement Tuesday.
“Utah Food Bank is seeing that the need for food assistance statewide is remaining at levels similar to during the height of the pandemic as many who are just getting back on their feet have seen their budgets slashed due to inflation. Utah Food Bank is one of a handful of food banks nationwide who distributes food free of charge to our 216 partner agencies statewide, but inflation means that it is costing us more while at the same time impacting our donors as well.”

“I think it’s due to the economy,” Smith said. “It’s a little bit worrisome and kind of just makes us scratch our heads and wonder what we can do to help these families more to get them on their feet besides with just food.”

“I could not survive without the pantry,” said Judy Hardman, who was picking up food for herself, and also for people who are not able to make it to the food pantry. She has a disability and has had a hard time making ends meet.

“Even though I have a large family, and they do what they can to help me out, but, they’re in the same boat I am,” she said. “Everybody’s having a really hard time right now. The prices are going up, and our paychecks aren’t going up.”

Tabitha’s Way is among more than 200 food pantries that receive food from the Utah Food Bank, which has distributed more than 70 million pounds of food statewide this year.

The Utah Food Bank continues to see demand that has been high since the onset of the pandemic.

Tabitha’s Way food pantry also gets help from the Bishops’ Storehouse.

Fewer food and cash donations are coming in, and the grocery stores where they pick up excess food have less food to give.

To make a donation or coordinate a food drive, go to tabithasway.org.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

man with breathing tubes wears a white hat...

Tamara Vaifanua

Family, friends celebrate Kearns man’s 100th birthday

A Kearns man celebrated his 100th birthday.

1 hour ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Tamara Vaifanua

Utah high school basketball player reaches milestone: 1,000 rebounds in single season

A Utah high school basketball player grabbed a huge career milestone – 1,000 rebounds in a single season; and she’s not stopping there.

2 hours ago

(KSL TV)...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera

5 things to know about KSL’s legal fight for transparency

How much should Utahns get to know about how elected officials spend their time on the clock? The question is at the center of a legal fight taking KSL to court Monday.

7 hours ago

The Utah Avalanche Center opened a new beacon training park at Pinebrook Sunday, the closest park t...

Shelby Lofton

Utah Avalanche Center opens new rescue skills training park close to Salt Lake City

The Utah Avalanche Center opened a new beacon training park at Pinebrook on Sunday, the closest park to Salt Lake City.

14 hours ago

Thousands of Filipino’s filled the stands at a historic and sacred Catholic University to attend ...

Dan Rascon

Thousands attend interfaith concert in Manila with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

Thousands of people from the Philippines filled the stands at a historic and sacred Catholic University to attend an interfaith concert with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

14 hours ago

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, left, and President Joe Biden toast before Biden speaks to members of the Na...

Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

Biden and Utah’s governor call for less bitterness and more bipartisanship

President Joe Biden and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox disagree on many issues but they were united Saturday in calling for less bitterness in politics and more bipartisanship.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Local Pantry struggles with growing need from families who need help