Partnering with the Utah Food Bank to support seniors, youth and the local community
Utah faces serious challenges when it comes to food security and accessing meals for better health. According to the Utah Food Bank, 382,000 Utahns are at risk of missing a meal every day—or 1 in 8 people in the state. The situation is even worse for youth, with 1 in 7 kids not knowing where to turn for their next meal. Fortunately, local nonprofits and others are working hard to make a positive difference.
The Utah Food Bank has been a Regence community partner organization (CPO) for the last three years, and Regence employees have teamed up with this organization on a variety of programs both locally and statewide. For example, volunteers sort, pack and distribute shelf-stable food to children and their families through the Mobile Food Pantry every month. The initiative ensures that Utah’s most vulnerable neighbors can access food, regardless of age or location.
The Mobile Food Pantry serves 120 families every month at East Midvale Elementary School, where over 70 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. With the support of the Utah Food Bank and Regence, East Midvale Elementary regularly provides families with about 20 pounds of shelf-stable and nonperishable food items. Regence employees volunteer to unload and pack bags of food that are passed out to students. Some bags are so heavy that volunteers will even carry the food for the kids as they walk together to a designated pickup or bus stop—a perfect opportunity to personally connect and build friendships with youth and families over time.
Another initiative, focused on helping older neighbors, is the Senior Food Box Program. Every month volunteers deliver food to seniors across the Salt Lake Valley, helping to build relationships, friendships and trust with the community. Regardless of age or location, the Utah Food Bank remains committed to fighting hunger.
Those interested in volunteering or supporting the Utah Food Bank in other ways can visit utahfoodbank.org.
Check out this video featuring Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah President Jim Swayze urging support of the Utah Food Bank to ensure no family experiences hunger this holiday season.