Utah food drive volunteers help provide food to the growing number of Utahns who need it

Mar 16, 2024, 5:57 PM | Updated: Mar 18, 2024, 10:53 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The annual Feed Utah statewide food drive was held Saturday morning.

People across Utah leave food on their front porch for volunteers to pick up and deliver to food pantries in their area.

This year, more than 300,000 Utahns could use a little extra help when it comes to food.

“The need right now is something we have never seen before at these levels,” said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank. “We had issues during the pandemic and we had issues right after COVID as people were going back to work. Those numbers have not gone down and now inflation is impacting housing and we know how expensive gas and food are. Daycare expenses. Everything families are trying to do is hampering their ability to buy food.”

Saturday’s food drive provided 245 pantries and programs in Utah with more food to help those who need it.

Thousands of volunteers will make sure of it.

“You know, we put the call out and people rally and we are the envy of our peers across the country as far as food banks because no other states do what we do,” Bott said.

Volunteer knows from experience

Annie Kamerath is one of those volunteers.

She is a nurse with the University of Utah Kidney and Liver program, who had a team of volunteers help sort food outside the Utah Food Bank’s Salt Lake City headquarters.

“It feels good. Just giving back to the community,” Kamerath said.

She knows what it is like to be really hungry.

“I have been there personally,” said Kamerath. “We used the food bank to get through the week or feed our kids.”

Kamerath said she is doing better now, so when she heard the Utah Food Bank was looking for volunteers to help with this big statewide food drive, she had to be here.

“Just paying back what I had. It is great to know that other people I work with are willing to give up their Saturday,” she said. “It’s OK to ask for help when you need it, and when you have the time and the money at a higher point in your life, to give the time back.”

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Utah food drive volunteers help provide food to the growing number of Utahns who need it