Police team up with Disney on Ice for food drive

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utahns donated a record-setting 12,000 pounds of food Tuesday as part of a one-day campaign to help the Utah Food Bank. In today's economy, though, the need for food in Utah is higher than ever.

The number of Utahns who rely on the food bank to feed their families continues to rise. While the donations pour in during the holiday season, the need for food lasts all year long.

Claudia Guevara is just one of hundreds who gave to the Utah Food Bank this afternoon. She said, "It's part of society, I think to give in order to receive."

**Did you know…**
• 1 in 10 Utahns, 1 in 8 Utah children lives in poverty • 1 in 7 Utah children under 18 is at risk of hunger • 1 in 6 young Utah children under 5 is at risk of hunger • 345,700+ Utahns are at risk of missing or skipping a meal due to a lack of resources (4th highest rate of food insecurity in US) • 134,000+ Utahns receive food stamps, not even half of those eligible • 63,000+ Utahns eat dinner at a soup kitchen every month • Almost 40% of all Utah school-age children receive free or reduced lunch (nearly 300,000) - *[Utah Food Bank](https://www.utahfoodbank.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1)*
For just 10 cans of food, each donor got a ticket to opening night of Disney on Ice and a chance to help the ongoing need for food. Donor Heather Adams said, "We're always excited to support the Utah Food Bank, and it's even more fun if we can come and see Disney on Ice."

Jim Pugh, from the Utah Food Bank, said shelves are especially bare this time of year, right before the big push for the holidays, but he still sees a positive response from the community.

"We have so many caring, giving people, that if they find out about ways that they can give, they're so willing and generous with their time and with their money, with their food to help out causes like ours," he said.

John Greene, general manager of KUER, saw the community's generosity first hand during the station's Fall Fund Drive last month. The station's listeners would call in, pledge money to the station, and decide whether they wanted a portion of their donation to go to the food bank. The station's listeners pledged enough money to provide more than 23,000 families with meals, a response Greene didn't expect.

"The need is just overwhelming, and the fact that we're gonna supply 23,000 families with meals is a good reason to get up and go to work in the morning," he said.

Officials from the Utah Food Bank say the most needed items include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Tuna fish
  • Canned fruit (low sugar)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned stew/chili
  • Boxed meals
  • Macaroni & Cheese/Pasta

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com

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Jennifer Stagg


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