Utah Food Bank says need is still great in summer months

Jul 16, 2021, 8:36 AM | Updated: 9:00 am
Summer food bank...
FILE: Vehicles snake around the parking lot of a chapel belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to pick up food from the Utah Food Bank in Taylorsville on Monday, April 13, 2020. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — As summer comes into full force in Utah many families are out and taking vacations or out enjoying some time off and trying to beat the heat. But for many families, the need for a reliable source of food becomes more acute.

Utah Food Bank President and CEO Ginnette Bott that need for food becomes desperate for some Utah families in the summer months.

“During the summer, kids are not in a regular school program. Some of the lunches and breakfasts they were receiving at school, or even during the course of the summer, aren’t in place like they were for distribution,” she told KSL NewsRadio’s Inside Sources.

While many people think of food drives and charitable donations in the wintertime around the holiday season, Bott said the need throughout the summer is also great.

“Utah has always had kind of camaraderie, if you will, we here at the Utah Food Bank, when we put out the call for help people rally. And here at Utah Food Bank, we’re responsible for the whole entire state of Utah as far as our area of service,” Bott said.

That’s why throughout the summer she said they try and rally as many businesses as they can to help them with their Summer Business Food & Fund Drive. Bott said through the summer they ask businesses to hold food drives either at their buildings or even virtually to help fill the summer gap.

What the food bank needs, and doesn’t

“The rule of thumb is if your family won’t eat it, we don’t expect another family to,” Bott said. 

She added that the food bank takes all sorts of donations to provide a rich variety of options for families to be able to choose what is best for them. She said things that are low in salt and sugars, but also things that could be easy for a child who is home alone to make.

Bott also warned of a few things to avoid bringing.

“Anytime anything is in a glass bottle, it’s difficult from a transportation perspective. So please nothing that is in glass, nothing that has been canned at home.”

Bott said that they also accept cash donations and that they have tried very hard to make sure that every dollar donated is stretched as far as it can be.

“With $1 from you, we can turn into about $8 worth of goods and services,” Bott said. “And 96 cents of that dollar is going to program and only four cents to admin costs. So we’re running as, as best we can with we call it lean and mean and we’re diverting the funds to the actual program to help those [in need.]” 

You can hear the full conversation that Ginnette Bott had with Inside Sources guest host Ethan Millard about the need the food bank has in the summer in its entirety below. 


RELATED: Opinion: Feed Utah food drive demonstrates what Utah does best

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Utah Food Bank says need is still great in summer months