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This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.
For most of us the idea of going hungry because we can't afford to put food in our pantry is unimaginable. But for 1 in 6 Utahns, the risk of missing at least one meal a day is a reality. Four hundred and seventy two thousand people are food insecure, representing 17 percent of Utah's population. To really bring this home, it means 1 in 5 of our kids are unsure where their next meal will come from.
This is the reason for the Utah Food Bank and their programs which distribute 36.3 million pounds of food every year, representing almost 30 million meals. This 100-year-old organization supports 130 partner food pantries and agencies. Utah Food Bank also has other programs they use to support their mission of fighting hunger … like the Backpack Program, Kids Cafe and the Food Box Program.
With the Backpack Program, children receive a backpack full of nutritious and easy-to-open food each weekend. It's a nationally recognized program of Feeding America, designed to meet the needs of hungry children. Last year alone the Utah Food Bank filled over 69,000 backpacks with meals for hungry Utah children at 32 sites statewide.
In Utah Food Bank's Kids Café, over 1,700 hot, nutritious meals are provided daily to children in low-income areas at schools, community centers and after-school programs around Salt Lake County. In total last year, the Kids Café program served over 202,000 meals to kids who might otherwise go hungry.
The Food Box Program is serving seniors and persons with disabilities on a monthly basis. About a week's worth of non-perishable food, milk and produce is hand-delivered once a month. In the past year over 41,000 boxes were delivered throughout the state.
It's a good thing Utah has been first in the nation for volunteerism for seven years now. Utah Food Bank's mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide is made possible because so many are willing to give food, give time and give money.
For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.
Utah Food Bank 3150 S. 900 West Salt Lake City, UT 84119 1-801-978-2452 www.UtahFoodBank.org