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Food Pantries, Local Resturants Working To Connect Utahns With Food


Reduced hours at work and job loss due to the pandemic mean food insecurity has increased throughout Utah. When it comes to making a donation to the Utah Food Bank, CEO Ginette Bott saids a dollar goes a lot further than you may expect. 

“We can take $1 and turn that into $7.56 worth of goods and services. So using our buying power and using your dollars, we're really able to shop better, shop more, and to really shop effectively, and really be able to have that additional product get to these families and individuals throughout our state," Bott said.

Before the pandemic, people selected their food from the food bank as they would at a grocery store. Now volunteers package goods based on family size. Those packages can then be picked up at the curb.  

In Logan, the director of the Cache Valley Food Pantry, Matt Whittaker, said they have also implemented curbside pick-up. Those who are quarantine can get food delivered to their home and the Bear River Health Department is helping with this program.

“They are supplying drivers to get food out to those families and they have the means to do that. We're supplying the food," Whittaker said. "So it's a unique partnership. It's working great. If they do not want to go to the health department for some reason or another, contact us and we can still help directly with our volunteers and get food out to them.”

Restaurants have also been making food donations throughout the pandemic, including Pig and  Jelly Jar. This Utah-based chain has provided meals to first responders and recently partnered with Volunteers of America. Vivi Wanderley-Britt, the restaurant’s Community Partnerships Development & CMO, said that customers have also participated in these donations.

“We're hoping that we can allow people to keep donating online," Wanderley-Britt said. "Now that we open up the restaurant we need to have a table topper or something that you know people know that they can do that.”