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news News Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Monday, July 20, 2020 2:29 PM - Monday, July 20, 2020 2:29 PM

Banking on food donations during tough economic times

Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital collects 400 pounds of food for Utah Food Bank

Banking on food donations during tough economic times

It has been a difficult time for everyone the past few months, navigating an ever-changing global pandemic. The health care community has been among the most impacted. The industry has had to secure scarce personal protective equipment (PPE), manage the temporary halt of elective surgeries, and implement intricate coronavirus testing protocols. But, that didn’t stop the tireless and generous staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City from continuing in its 14-year tradition of collecting food for the community.

“We all have stuff going on in our lives – some more than others – but at the end of the day we have jobs, our health and food on the table,” said Human Resources Director Beverly Valletta. “Our employees are the best, compassionate and caring. I know we all recognize our blessings – now more than ever. It’s a good time to give back.”

The week-long food drive took place at the hospital the first week in July, ultimately bringing in a grand total of 400 pounds of non-perishables for the Utah Food Bank to distribute to those in need.

The Utah Food Bank reports seeing a significant increase in the need for assistance, with children spending more time at home and many adults out of work. The Salt Lake Tribune reported earlier this month that a Salt Lake County survey found that 40% of residents said the pandemic had a negative impact on their financial well-being.

In response, the Utah Food Bank is upping its efforts to feed the hungry. Since the pandemic began, the organization saw a 192% increase in households served over the same time period last year. In April, the Utah Food Bank’s emergency food distribution at the Maverik Center served more than 5,000 families – its largest distribution to date. Further, the Utah Food Bank worked with the Salt Lake School District to distribute 70,000 bagged meals to kids to help replace missed school meals due to the school closure. In June alone, they served nearly 101,000 children’s meals. 

For more information about how you can help contribute toward food drives at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City, call the hospital at 801-536-3500 and ask for Human Resources Director Beverly Valletta.

Food bank staff members