Utah’s Hunger Action Month
By Gary R. Herbert
Food. It’s one of the basic necessities of life and something many of us take for granted. 1 in 7 Utah children under the age of 18 is at risk of hunger and may need to rely on organizations like the Utah Food Bank to eat. Today, I had the privilege of volunteering at the Utah Food Bank with members of my staff to kick off the statewide Hunger Action Month food drive. It was incredible to think not only of the many people who would benefit from the food, but also of those who had generously donated it.
Saturday, September 24th, 2011 is the the 3rd Annual Hunger Action Month food drive. Please contribute what you can to the Utah Food Bank by donating non-perishable food items from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. Drop off points for donated product are available at all Walmart stores statewide. Many community and ecclesiastical organizations are also organizing neighborhood pickups.
Utahns are known for their charitable giving and volunteerism. Let’s put that spirit of generosity to work this weekend to help alleviate hunger in our state!
Hunger Action Month Facts
Provided by the Utah Food Bank
- The mission of Hunger Action Month is to increase the awareness of hunger issues in our state and nation and promote ways to get involved.
- This is our 3rd Annual Hunger Action Month food drive. We will continue to have this food drive annually on the last Saturday in September.
- September tends to be the lowest timeframe for donations. These donations will help us with our distribution efforts to more than 154 food pantries and agencies statewide.
- The requests for emergency food assistance have increased approximately 40%. Donations have increased slightly because of our generous community, but a significant gap does still exist.
- If someone needs help with health or human services, please have them call 2-1-1 Information and Referral. There they will be connected with a Call Specialist who can assess their needs and refer them to organizations that will help meet those particular needs.
- Utah is ranked 4th in the nation for the highest rate of food insecurity. About 400,000 individuals are at risk of missing or skipping a meal due to a lack of resources (US. Department of Agriculture, Household Food Security in the United States, 2009)
- 1 in 10 Utahns and 1 in 8 Utah children lives in poverty. A family of four living in poverty makes just over $22,050 a year to cover health care expenses, shelter, food and other household expenses (U.S. Census Bureau: Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2009).
- 1 in 7 Utah children under the age of 18 is at risk of hunger. 1 in 6 young Utah children under the age of 5 is at risk of hunger (Child Food Insecurity in the United States, 2005 – 2007).
Visit http://www.utahfoodbank.org/ to learn how to donate FOOD, TIME or MONEY.