Utah charities make urgent plea for donations before Christmas

Dec 14, 2022, 10:16 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2022, 6:50 am

At the Utah Food Bank, it looks like business as usual, but the reality is, more people than ever are asking for food at a time when donations are down and the costs of everything are up.

“We’re down about 90,000 pounds from where we were this time last year,” Ginette Bott said.

The percentage is just a small part of the millions of pounds of food they distribute every year but a concern because the demand that hit record highs during the pandemic has never eased. In fact, it’s done the opposite – recent months have brought a new spike of people coming to the food bank for more help.

At The Christmas Box House, they’re in the middle of “Project Elf” their yearly program to provide toys to 2500 kids. Right now, they still need toys for a thousand kids. During her interview with KSL TV, Stephanie Matalone dropped by with a trunk full of toys. She took her two children shopping last night.

“We wanted to do something for our community, and I really wanted to get my kids involved picking up actual gifts and going through that process,” Matalone said.

Executive Director Celeste Edmunds hopes to see a lot more people doing that same thing. She says The Christmas Box House will take donations for kids of all ages, but the greatest need is for teens. “Teen items tend to be more difficult to get,” she said. “People tend to think little kids, we also tend to not get as many items for boys.”

Back at the Utah Food Bank. Bott urges Utahns to get out and donate. She says which charity you support isn’t as important as just getting out and helping Utah nonprofits. She’s also quick to express her gratitude.

“We can never go into a holiday season without saying thank you,” Bott said.  “Thank you to those who have helped us, to those who have made adjustments in their budgets or in their time to help us, to help others and it’s a collaborative effort.”

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Utah charities make urgent plea for donations before Christmas