Summer demand for food assistance surges just as donations drop

Jul 10, 2023, 6:27 PM

Inside Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry (KSL TV)...

Inside Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry (KSL TV)


SPANISH FORK, Utah — With children out of school and eating more at home, food pantries across Utah are reporting a jump in demand, but at the same time, food donations have dropped off.

“As we look at numbers across the state, we’ve seen an increase, I would say, in almost every county,” said Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank President & CEO. “Inflation has impacted our donors. Inflation has impacted our recipients, and we’re finding now we’re starting to see a bit of a collision.”

Bott explained that summer has always been a hard time meeting food assistance needs. But the difficulty this summer is more dramatic.

“Sometimes the people we are asking for donations now are becoming the folks we are having to help,” Bott said. “So the donation amount is coming down.”

Inside Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry (KSL TV)

In addition to inflation, Bott said the end of the pandemic-era boost to food stamps is also contributing to more people reaching out to food pantries for help.

In Utah County, Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry reports an unprecedented spike in families needing assistance, including middle-class households.

“That never needed a food pantry before coming in and saying, ‘I was the one who used to help. I can’t believe I’m here,” said Tabitha’s Way executive director Wendy Osborne. “And it’s hard. It’s hard for these families to have to ask for help. It’s a humbling experience.”

The sign for Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry (KSL TV)

Tabitha’s Way has pantries in American Fork and Spanish Fork. They call this summer the perfect storm after Utah’s three largest food drives brought in 50% less food compared to last year.

“We don’t have cooking oil or flour or sugar. Some of the really basic necessities,” Osborne explained. “50% of the population we serve are children. So it’s families with little kids coming in and trying to get the food that they need to provide for their children, and it’s hard when they don’t have enough for them.”

Osborne said because individual and institutional donations are down, they are having to purchase more food than ever before.

Utahns can help by giving food, time, or money. For more information on how to donate, you can visit the Utah Food Bank website or Tabitha’s Way website.

KSL 5 TV Live

Food & Recipes

Zach Lemann, curator of animal collections for the Audubon Insectarium, prepares cicadas for eating...

Kevin McGill, Associated Press

Would you like a cicada salad? The monstrous little noisemakers descend on a New Orleans menu

They may look like little monsters. And their seemingly endless racket may be a nuisance. But as parts of the nation prepare for the emergence of trillions of noisy cicadas, bug experts say the little creatures can also be a tasty snack.

1 month ago

Chef Jeff Jackson's cheesy chorizo empanadas. (KSL TV)...


Recipe: Smith’s chef Jeff Jackson’s Cheesy Chorizo Empanadas

Chef Jeff joins KSL TV to showcase his recipe for cheesy chorizo empanadas.

1 month ago

Smith's Chef Jeff Jackson developed a recipe for Lasagna Nachos he shared live from the KSL TV stud...


Recipe: Smith’s chef Jeff Jackson’s lasagna nachos

Smith's Chef Jeff Jackson shares a recipe live in the KSL TV studio for lasagna nachos.

2 months ago

Community Action Services is Utah's second largest food bank, and it has seen a 65% increase in dem...

Dan Rascon

Second largest food bank in Utah sees 65% increase in demand, donations needed

One of Utah's largest food banks is in dire need after demand for their services increased and they're now left with only a month's worth of supply.

3 months ago

Gourmandise's selection of desserts featured on their Thanksgiving holiday menu, available for take...

Mary Culbertson

Five of the most unique Thanksgiving specials in Salt Lake

The most unique Thanksgiving food in Salt Lake listed, linked, and featured for browsing and ordering pleasure.

6 months ago

Taco Bell has won its fight over the “Taco Tuesday” trademark in all 50 states....

Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Taco Bell’s battle to free the ‘Taco Tuesday’ trademark is officially over

Taco Bell has won its fight over the “Taco Tuesday” trademark in all 50 states now that lone holdout — a restaurant in New Jersey — has “parted ways” with the term.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

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.

Summer demand for food assistance surges just as donations drop