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Holiday food drive a success, but the need isn't over



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As 2009 begins, we're all aware that many people in our communities struggle to put food on the table every day.

Urgent pleas for help this holiday season were answered by great generosity but, the end of the holidays doesn't bring an end to hunger.

Holiday food drive a success, but the need isn't over

These scouts from Riverton rolled up their sleeves today and sorted boxes of donated food at the Utah Food Bank. Parker Weiss says they want to help hungry families. Even though they're young, they know many families are hurting.

Weiss said, "We just came here for a lot of fun and to help out people in the community wherever we can."

The food bank set out with a goal of 1.5 million pounds of food, and today tallied more than 1.6 million pounds: 111 percent of the goal.

Many donors opened their wallets instead, helping the food bank bring in more than a $250,000 in online contributions.

Holiday food drive a success, but the need isn't over

Development Director of the Utah Food Bank Janeal Ford said, "We've seen a lot of neighborhood drives, we've seen children coming down with piggy banks. It's been really neat to see the community respond."

In Provo, Community Action Services and Food Bank serves Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties.

They've seen a 43 percent increase in need, but collected nearly one million pounds of food. Contributions to the two major food banks should help feed Utah families through February. Ford said, "The need is year round. We expect to see the continued increase in the need for emergency food assistance."

Consider a New Year's resolution to help the food bank with food donations, volunteer time or cash contributions; that's immediate help for people who really need it.

E-mail: jboal@ksl.com

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Jed Boal

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