UTAH

Food pantries running low due to spike in demand

Mar 1, 2024, 7:00 AM | Updated: Mar 4, 2024, 2:46 pm

a box of food for food pantries...

According to Feeding America, 316,980 people are facing hunger in Utah, and 93,050 are children.(Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Food pantries are seeing a huge spike in the number of people they are serving. Now, some of them report they are running low on supplies.

According to Feeding America, 316,980 people are facing hunger in Utah, and 93,050 are children.

However, local food banks are seeing an unprecedented demand–much higher than the most recent statistics indicate. Crossroads Urban Center Executive Director Glenn Bailey says in January, they served nearly 11,000 people; however, the year prior it was about 3,200.

“This is something that seems to be happening to pantries all over the state,” Bailey said. “So it’s not isolated to Crossroads, or to Salt Lake. It seems to be a crisis that’s affecting people all over Utah.”

Bailey believes high housing and food costs, as well as the loss of pandemic-era benefits, are to blame.

“The high price of housing, that’s the number one reason people use food pantries. They just paid the rent or utilities and are trying to scrape by for the rest of the month,” Bailey stated.

Crossroads Urban Center and many other food banks across the state are asking for help so they can keep their shelves stocked.

“In terms of the emergency response, we just need more food so that we can help the people that are coming to see us,” said Bailey. “So donating to food pantries, donating to the Utah Food Bank–those are things that can help immediately.”

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Food pantries running low due to spike in demand