Utah Food Bank helps Millcreek residents through pandemicJan 03, 2022 03:08PM ● By Lindsey Baxter
Fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution are a priority. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)
Starting in November 2019, the Utah Food Bank started a distribution center on Saturday mornings at a Millcreek church parking lot. Just a few months later the world would be struck by a global pandemic and hunger would hit communities even harder.
The Utah Food Bank, established since 1904, has been there to help every step of the way through its network of resources, infrastructure, and management.
The Utah Food Bank has a few different types of services to help fight hunger. In Millcreek, they offer a Mobile Pantry, with the available dates on their website at www.utahfoodbank.org. Utah Food Bank’s Mobile Pantries provide support to Utahns living in areas that are classified as food deserts or are inaccessible or underserved by traditional food pantries.
Those needing food in Millcreek can visit their distribution location at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints parking lot on 3400 South and 1100 East most Saturday mornings from 11 a.m.-noon. This service is provided for anyone, but especially for those who are struggling and need assistance. All that is required is name and zip code and after waiting in the car line so volunteers can safely distribute food, your trunk will be loaded with fresh foods for the week. Some people arrive as early as 9 a.m. to make sure they can get food because there is only a limited amount delivered each week to be distributed.
Pepa Taufui, the volunteer lead for the pantry said, “The food comes from The Utah Food Bank, there’s cheese, chicken, butter, fish, just like going to the grocery store. They also get some canned food, fresh vegetables, and mangos this week. In the beginning we start with more food in each bag but as we see how many people are coming, we bring the numbers down. Today, we don’t have as much so each car is just getting the same amount.”
Taufui knows there is a critical need for the community based on the increasing amount of people that come weekly. On Nov. 6, they ran out of food. He loves serving others and is grateful for the help and support of all the volunteers who come out rain or shine to dedicate time to those in need.
Alice, a Millcreek resident, and volunteer of over a year and a half, comes out every Saturday to help no matter what the weather is. “I just take my husband’s ice fishing boots that are thick and wear them in the winter, the rain, the snow, the sleet, OK, let’s go! It’s a lot of fun, it’s really rewarding, and I feel like we’re doing something for the community,” Alice said and added, “I love the people. There’s a lot of good people here, we all get along. We work as a team to get it done. Volunteers keep changing, they come, and they go, but it’s a great thing.”
Ron Maier, another volunteer of two years, comes every Saturday morning to volunteer. Maier said, “It’s a lot of work, you come over and do a lot of work, sometimes it’s horrible weather conditions, on winter days and heat of summer, it can be aversive physically, but when it’s over, there’s a really good feeling like you’ve helped a lot of people. That’s what it’s all about for me, it’s about the people, and during the pandemic, it’s been really hard for people. There’s quite a few of us that as soon as we’re done here, we load up the food and take it to our neighbors.”
If you would like to help donate time, food, or money, please visit www.utahfoodbank.org. and know that you are making a difference within our own community.