SANDY — Hundreds of thousands of pounds of food were collected in bags and boxes all across the Beehive State as part of the Feed Utah Food Drive.
It was a massive effort put on Saturday by the Utah Food Bank and its partners, particularly since so many additional families have needed food help in the past.
"I think I'm more wet inside the rain jacket than I am outside," said David Cox with a laugh.
The rain in Sandy Saturday morning made it a challenge, but Cox said he would have stayed in it all day long to get the job done.
"I have plenty to eat at home. My kids have plenty to eat. There's a lot of people right now that don't, so getting a little bit wet is one thing," he said. "Helping people out that are starving for food, it's quite another."
Cox was one of the thousands of volunteers who made sure the big food drive was an even bigger success.
"Great job, guys, keep it up!" he said to people handing him bags of food to load onto a trailer.
People across Utah left food outside their front doors for volunteers to pick up. That food was then brought to a nearby collection site.
In all, there were 160 collection sites scattered throughout the state.
"It does feel nice. I'm glad that there are so many people willing to help other people," said Aiden Edwards, a volunteer who worked at a collection location in Tooele County.
The entire operation was so the Utah Food Bank could help more people facing a shortage of food.
"The need this year due to the pandemic was like nothing we've ever seen and hope I never see again," said Ginette Bott, President of the Utah Food Bank.
Bott said the need for food help in the past year has increased by about 165,000 people. That's why she and other organizers put together this special event called the Feed Utah Food Drive.
At a collection location in Sandy, cars were sometimes lined up more than a dozen deep for food to be dropped off and put into tractor trailers.
"It makes me want to cry. It does," said Bott. "This is probably one of the most humbling days that the Utah Food Bank has faced. To see so many folks, so many volunteers, so much food, on such a day, and I know that it's happening across the state."
The big @utahfoodbank Feed Utah Food Drive is today. Thousands of volunteers across the state are helping collect food. The need for food has increased by about 160,000 people this past year. We're doing a story on it for @KSL5TV at 5 and 10. #utah#feedutah#ksltvpic.twitter.com/2TJoNdMpLY— Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) March 20, 2021
Children and teenagers, though their church groups, were encouraged to help pick up food from homes to learn the value of service.
"I think it teaches them there are things they can do to help out," said Scott Ence, whose son and neighborhood friends collected food and brought it to the Sandy collection site. "They know it's a cause they can get behind and there are small, simple things they can do, so it's been really good."
t's also good for all those families who just need a little extra help right now.
"I'm not sure they planned on having this much food. This is great," said Cox.
No matter how much it rains, there's always sunshine afterwards.