Some of the items donated to the Salt Lake Food Bank could curl your hair.
Literally.Food bank staffers were delighted when Smith's offered them a load of non-food items including about 160 damaged curling irons, blow dryers and crimping irons.
Brenda Thompson, director of the food bank, contacted Salt Lake Community College and its Riverside Campus Skills Center agreed to try to fix the items. She's coordinated the repairs with teacher Keith Bingham.
"It was great," she said. "They got the experience fixing them - and they were able to fix almost all of them. And we've been able to give them to a lot of people who would otherwise not have them."
Irons and dryers have been sent to Girls Village, the battered women's shelter, the Women Helping Women Program and anywhere else where women and girls who are in need might enjoy them.
"People don't just need food," Thompson said. "And especially for the young girls, this has been such a boost."
Richard K. Winters, director of the agency that operates the food bank, the Community Services Council, said that while food is an immediate need, people who are poor have the same needs as everyone else. "We all want to look good and feel good about ourselves," he said.
The curling irons and dryers are especially wanted at the battered women's shelters, because women staying there have usually left home abruptly, without taking any personal items.
Associated Foods has announced it has some non-food items for the food bank to distribute.
And Thompson's mind dances with possibilities. "There's so much need. I can't wait to find out what it is. How about some small fans for the elderly?"