- Utah Food Bank is responding to increasing demand by expanding its mobile pantry program.
- The mobile pantry provided the equivalent of 16.8 million meals in 2022 alone.
- A Marathon Petroleum Corp. grant is adding monthly distributions in 2023 in two areas of Salt Lake City.
Utah Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry Program brings food to areas of the state where brick-and-mortar pantries don’t exist or people in need face transportation challenges, providing the equivalent of 16.8 million meals through 898 visits in 2022 alone. Among the recipients was an elderly woman who told staff members she traveled more than a mile in her wheelchair to access deliveries because they were the reason her family had enough food.
In 2023, the food bank is expanding its capacity to reach more people like this woman, in part, through a $35,000 grant from Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC). These funds, which build on years of support from MPC, will allow the food bank to add mobile distributions every month in both the Glendale Mountain View and Rose Park neighborhoods near MPC’s refinery in Salt Lake City.
Demand, along with the generosity and compassion of donors and volunteers, is daily inspiration for food bank staff to remain focused on their mission.
“Both sites have grown in the past two years, more than doubling the combined number of clients served year over year,” Utah Food Bank President and CEO Ginette Bott said. “The continuing impact of inflation on grocery prices and living expenses makes the mobile pantry program a refuge for more people beyond traditionally underserved groups.”
The food bank estimates 289,000 Utahns are experiencing hunger. Bott pointed to this demand, along with the generosity and compassion of donors and volunteers, as daily inspiration for her and her staff to remain focused on the food bank’s mission.
“Every time our teams enter the warehouse and see food stacked to the ceiling, they are reminded that we have to keep working, because this food will be delivered across the state within weeks and then we will need more,” she said.