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Residents asked to leave food donations at their door Saturday to help Utahns facing hunger

SHARE Residents asked to leave food donations at their door Saturday to help Utahns facing hunger
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Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Food Bank is gearing up for the biggest locally driven food drive of the year and is asking Utahns to participate in a massive collection effort called "Feed Utah" on Saturday.

Utahns can participate by leaving a bag of nonperishable food donations near their doorway, donating funds or volunteering to help collect food donations. Among drop-off locations across the state are Utah Food Bank's Salt Lake and St. George warehouses, any Macey's grocery store locations, participating pantry locations and other community sites.

This week, red and white hangers will be placed on doors across the state asking Utahns to participate. The hangers instruct residents to leave a bag of nonperishable food outside of their door before 9 a.m. Saturday, later to be picked up by local volunteers and church organizations. Donated items should also be commercially packaged and nutritious.

Beef stew, chili, peanut butter, boxed meals, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables are among the items most needed by the Utah Food Bank. The donations will help provide food to the estimated 289,000 Utahns, and 1 in 9 Utah kids, who are unsure where their next meal will come from.

"Think about your children's classroom with maybe 25 students, and the idea that potentially three of them will struggle with hunger throughout the week. And it's unacceptable," said Gov. Spencer Cox.

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Ginette Bott, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Food Bank, speaks during a press conference during the Feed Utah kickoff at the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. The Utah Food Bank is gearing up for the biggest locally driven food drive of the year. This week, red and white hangers will be placed on doors across the state asking Utahns to participate in a massive collection effort called “Feed Utah.” The hanger asks Utahns to leave a bag of non-perishable food outside of their door before 9 a.m. Saturday, which will then be picked up by local volunteers and church organizations.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

The event is a collaboration between faith-based congregations, organizations and residents throughout Utah and is the second statewide Feed Utah food drive, after a hiatus in 2022 due to COVID-19.

"It is rewarding to see so many partners working alongside us to fight hunger statewide," said Utah Food Bank President Ginette Bott in a statement. "We are still distributing record-setting amounts of food as the need for assistance remains high thanks to rising food costs and other inflationary pressures. Your support is needed now just as much as during the height of the pandemic."

Youth groups of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will also participate in volunteer efforts throughout the week.

"Food insecurity for many Utahns is a daily reality. Our collective efforts to care for those in need and share our abundance, no matter how meager the offering, makes us better and knits our hearts together in greater unity," said President Bonnie H. Cordon, general president of the church's Young Women organization.

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Ginette Bott, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Food Bank, left, speaks with Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder Kevin W. Pearson, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during the Feed Utah kickoff at the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News