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How Silicon Slopes Serves volunteers packaged 1 million meals for Utah Food Bank

Volunteers cheer as a young boy rings the bell to celebrate another packaged box of meals at the Silicon Slopes Serves event.
Heath Bradley, Global Manager of JustServe, and Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Utah Area President, watch as a young volunteer rings a bell to celebrate another packaged box of meals at the Silicon Slopes Serves event on Oct. 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

People attending the annual Silicon Slopes Summit and community members volunteered together in a service project to help Utahns facing hunger this week.

Equipped with gloves, hairnets and a willingness to serve, Silicon Slopes attendees who signed up for the Silicon Slopes Serves food drive and others gathered in the Salt Palace Convention Center on Oct. 13-14 to package 1 million meals that will be donated to individuals and families through the Utah Food Bank, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday in a news release.

Approximately 58.5 million meals were donated to roughly 511,000 Utahns who needed food during the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank.

Elder Kevin W. Pearson, a General Authority Seventy and Utah Area President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was among those who volunteered on Thursday. Events like this one help bring greater awareness to a global problem, the church leader said.

“And that’s who we are. That’s what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about,” Elder Pearson said in the news release. “It’s serving as the Savior would serve and being aware of and willing to address the needs of others where we can.”

Silicon Summit Serves collaborated with several nonprofits, including Hunger Fight, JustServe, Latter-day Saint Charities and Silicon Slopes, to organize the two-day project during the annual technology summit. The Utah Food Bank will distribute the food to needy families and individuals once the meals are finalized.

Volunteer stations at the Silicon Slopes Serves event on October 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Volunteer stations are pictured at the Silicon Slopes Serves event on Oct. 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“It’s part of our culture to serve in our community, and we think it’s really important to get out and help others,” said Kasey Yardley, Director of Account Development for Brainstorm, one of the technology companies associated with Silicon Slopes.

“Tomorrow is World Food Day, for the whole world,” said Heath Bradley, Global Manager of JustServe. “It’s one of the few days where the whole globe comes together.”

Silicon Slopes Serves is the nonprofit organization of Silicon Slopes that focuses on empowering Utah’s startup and tech communities.