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

Feb 12, 2024, 6:40 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 1:22 pm

PROVO — Utah’s second-largest food bank, Community Action Services and Food Bank, in Provo, has less than one month left of food after seeing a 65% increase in demand.

“Came here to get some food,” said Gerald Evans, who just lost his job. “I’m kind of low on money because it’s rent time. I had to spend money for rent,” he said.

Right now Community Action Services is his lifeline to getting something to eat. But as grateful as he is for this pantry in Provo, many of the shelves are empty.

“There’s supposed to be eggs and milk and there are no eggs and milk,” he said.

Community Action Services works to feed hundreds of families a day at six different pantries in Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties. Not long ago their warehouse was full of food. But on Monday there are dozens of empty food cages and rows upon rows of empty shelves.

That’s very painful to see for Tom Hogan, the chief operating officer for Community Action Services and Food Bank.

“It’s really rough. People are hurting out there,” he said. “The problem is not that people are not donating. People are donating. It’s just that we have more need than that donation can fill.”

Just last month Hogan says they saw 14,000 individuals come through all six of their pantries.

“As a community, we have more demand than we have food,” he said.

That’s why he’s hoping people will give just a little bit more when donating. Two statewide donation events will be opportunities to help, and the first, the Scouting for Food drive, is happening right now. The second, the Feed Utah food drive, will be held next month.

Ginette Bott, the president and CEO of Utah Food Bank released the following statement in regards to what Community Action Services is experiencing:

Utah Food Bank is hearing from our partner agencies across the state, including Community Action Services in Provo, that they are seeing an increase in clients coming in the doors looking for help. In fact, in the past 6 months, we distributed almost 1.4 million more pounds of food than during the same time frame last year, and we are seeing an increase in visitors to the Get Help pages of our website. Whenever we hear that a partner agency of ours needs more food due to an increase in clients, we do our best to send additional product to them, but we can’t send more than we have, so donations of food, time and money are needed year-round to fight hunger statewide.

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