Program that helps feed Utah children loses major funding after donation pull

May 3, 2024, 6:03 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm

OGDEN — Funding to feed 20,000 kids in northern Utah is drying up after a $300,000 donation was pulled from a local charity.

The “Bridging the Gap” program, run by the Catholic Community Services, is a mobile food distribution program that visits low-income elementary schools in Weber and Ogden School Districts.

Odyssey Elementary School Principal Sonja Davidson said when the program visits its students, she sees the impact it makes.

“Yeah. Bridging the Gap, I would say, is critically important for a lot of our students. We are a school that, above 90% of our students qualify for free lunch,” Davidson said.

The students get breakfast and lunch at the school, but Davidson said students can’t be sure what they’re getting while away from school. That’s where the bags of food from Bridging the Gap come in.

“And when you’re hungry, that’s what you’re focused on. You’re focused on food. And where’s my next meal coming from?” said Randy Chappell, the basic needs director with the Catholic Community Services.

Chappell said the program has helped feed kids since 2016 thanks to some generous donors, but now, a huge chunk of that is gone.

“Yeah, it’s a little disappointing. It’s, you know, we’ve had this financial donation coming in for years. And so it was kind of a shock,” he said.

Chappell said Catholic Community Services is determined to keep running the program but needs community support to close the funding gap.

The children and staff at the ten schools in the Weber and Ogden school districts hope someone will keep them coming.

Catholic Community Services is looking for donors or even a store where they can buy what they need at a discount. You can donate by going to the donation website.

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Program that helps feed Utah children loses major funding after donation pull