OGDEN -- A few weeks after announcing huge deficits in food reserves, three area nonprofit agencies say they are out of danger thanks to the quick action of area residents and agencies.
But another group now is announcing ongoing shortfalls that could put it out of business without some added resources.
Organizers of SHARE Inc., founded 36 years ago to provide food for Weber County families in crisis, say they've lost grants and contracts in this recession that were their lifeblood. They'll have to find new funds if they are to continue for more than a few years.
"We were fortunate in the good times," said SHARE Inc. Treasurer Jim Philpott, of Roy. "We saved money. We've been living off of that."
But he said the $52,000-a-year program can't survive for long on its reserves.
"It's getting down to where the light at the end of the tunnel is in fact an oncoming train," Philpott said.
But area agencies that announced an immediate cry for help in the past few weeks said they reaped a trainload of benefits from the response.
"I feel like we are so lucky in Weber County," said Marcie Valdez, director of the Catholic Community Services Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank. "There was a handful of big things that happened and so many little things that happened in the last few weeks."
She said the community's response averted the crisis her food bank faced when the Utah Food Bank experienced a shortfall in resources that started a trickle-down effect to the agencies it serves.
"People just sure responded," she said.
"I've been so overwhelmed with the generosity. People have gone and bought a whole shopping cart full of food," she said of individual efforts.
Valdez said a recent large donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will see the Utah Food Bank through for a while.
And she said larger monetary donations that came in to her agency are allowing workers to buy large quantities of meat.
Also, 14,000 pounds of food came in from the Family Connection Center in Clearfield.
"They had a great response to their Boy Scout food drive," Valdez said. "Their need is a little less than ours right now."
And she said tremendous support also has come from other agencies in the area, including 6,000 pounds of food donated from members of the Pleasant View LDS Stake.
A total of 7,000 pounds of food was donated during the Weber County Fair food collection day.
The Salvation Army and the C.L.U.B.B. Jesus Church had similar stories to tell.
The two were each served by a food collection project run by the Weber Heights LDS Stake.
"They came through and blessed us to death," said Pastor Chris Gutierrez of C.L.U.B.B. Jesus. He said the stake delivered eight truckloads of food to his church.
"With the way the economy is right now, for people to be willing to do it, that's really amazing," he said.
And that was only half of what the Weber Heights Stake collected. The group split its collection between C.L.U.B.B. Jesus and the Salvation Army.
"Our pantry is looking pretty good," said Ogden Salvation Army Lt. Peter Pemberton. "It's nice to live in a place where you don't have to beg and plead to people."
Both the Salvation Army and C.L.U.B.B. Jesus also pointed to dozens of individuals who made donations to their cause. They said just one Standard-Examiner article led to that outcome.
Now SHARE Inc. organizers are hoping for the same blessing. Volunteer Phil Sottosanti made deliveries Wednesday to a handful of families in crisis. He delivered to each a week's worth of nutritionally balanced groceries to feed them until they could apply for assistance from other agencies.
But he showed large, empty boxes where his agency used to store personal care bags with soaps, detergents and similar items given as a bonus to those they served.
"We no longer do that, because we can't afford it," he said.
Those wishing to help SHARE Inc. may deliver donations during office hours, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., weekdays to its office at Elim Lutheran Church, 575 23rd St., Ogden.
Call 801-399-5046 during those hours or mail monetary donations to P.O. Box 892, Ogden, UT 84402.
Additionally, Valdez is encouraging local residents to participate in the Sept. 24 Alliance for Unity Food drive that will help her agency and others make it to the holidays.