LOCAL NEWS

‘Difficult decisions’: Inflation increasing need for food assistance in Utah ahead of holidays

Nov 30, 2022, 5:27 PM | Updated: 6:27 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Food Bank is expecting what could be the highest holiday demand ever for food assistance.

“This holiday season is shaping up to be drastically different for Utah Food Bank than any others in recent memory given the current economic climate,” Utah Food Bank President and CEO Ginette Bott said in a press release earlier this month.

Bott said not only has the need for food increased but it’s also coming from families who have never faced food insecurity before.

“Peoples whose budgets really have been stretched as far as they can go are now looking to us for assistance,” She said. “It’s a tough first step for families to take.”

Tabitha's Way Food Pantry saw record numbers of people who needed food assistance for Thanksgiving.

Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry in Utah County said during the week before Thanksgiving that its American Fork location set a record for the number of people who stopped by for food. (KSL TV)

Stubborn inflation has resulted in families paying more for almost everything, Bott explained. The higher prices are forcing families to make difficult decisions about their budgets.

“Do they heat the house or do they buy the food? Do they put gas in the car or do they buy the food? They’re difficult decisions and they are impactful for a family and it’s really sad to watch,” she said.

In addition to inflation, Bott said families are facing uncertainty about the economy and supply chains surrounding food. Also, it’s costing the Utah Food Bank more to distribute food around the state.

The food bank said it saw a large increase in demand for food assistance during the pandemic and the demand has stuck around due to inflation. During the last fiscal year, the organization provided 67.3 million pounds of food, which equals 56.1 million meals.

“Almost every pantry we serve—and there are 230 of them in the state—are telling us they’re in need of more food,” Bott said. “That tells us that the problem is far reaching.”

One of those food pantries is Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry in Utah County, which tells KSL that during the week before Thanksgiving its American Fork pantry set a record for the number of people who stopped by for food.

The Utah Food Bank’s annual Holiday Food and Fund Drive is currently underway and runs through Jan. 15. Utahns can support the drive by making a donation of food or money or by hosting their own food or fund drive.

Click here to learn more about the Holiday Food and Fund Drive.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Riders leaving the new shuttle. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Riders take advantage of new ski shuttle service for resorts in both Cottonwood Canyons

A new pilot shuttle program is offering skiers and snowboarders a new way to resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood.
18 hours ago
(File) Police Lights responding to a scene....
Michael Houck

Salt Lake man dead after accidental drowning in Millard County, police say

Authorities say a Salt Lake man has died after an accidental drowning incident late Saturday evening in Millard County.
18 hours ago
FILE...
Michael Houck

Utah juvenile services staff member arrested for sexually abusing housed juvenile

A man who worked in a Utah juvenile services facility was arrested for frequently sexually abusing one of the facility's juveniles.
18 hours ago
a motorhome is on its side in the middle of a wet freeway...
Brooke Williams

Motorhome rollover blocks SB I-15 in Farmington

A motorhome blocked the interstate when it rolled over on its side.
18 hours ago
The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office and Jail in Heber City is pictured on Friday, March 12, 2021. (...
Brooke Williams

Heber man surrendered with firearm after hours-long SWAT barricade

A man in Heber City was barricaded by SWAT and police officers after he made threats while intoxicated, intending bodily harm with a firearm.
18 hours ago
Students at Juan Diego Catholic School (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Private schools celebrate state funding, expect ‘significant uptick in enrollment’

Utah’s private schools are celebrating that they’ll receive state funding for the first time through a new school choice program.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
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.
‘Difficult decisions’: Inflation increasing need for food assistance in Utah ahead of holidays