OGDEN — After an appeal to the community last week, United Way of Northern Utah experienced its most successful turkey and ham collection in memory Saturday and has extended its drive for more of the items through Monday and Tuesday.
“We received 350 turkeys, a bunch of hams and some cash,” said Robert Hunter, director of United Way of Northern Utah.
“I think that’s the biggest amount we’ve ever taken in in one day,” Hunter said.
The effort is to get the holiday donations needed by the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank.
The food bank needs funds or turkeys and hams to feed 1,900 families for the holidays, Hunter said.
While Saturday put the donations over what was needed to feed food bank clients for Thanksgiving, about 400 are still needed to meet the goal to feed them for Christmas, too.
Hunter said turkeys, hams and donations may be dropped off at the north door of United Way of Northern Utah offices, 2955 Harrison Blvd., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
The donations also are being accepted at the Standard-Examiner, 530 W. 2nd St., from noon to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
Hunter said donors also may drop off their turkeys and hams at the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank, 2504 F Ave., between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, but he said the food bank remains busy and more crowded than the other two locations.
Hunter was touched by a number of those who donated recently to the effort.
He said large donations came in from St. Benedict’s Foundation, the American Dream Foundation and a former professor from Weber State University, who gave $500 from his own funds.
Another person bought $500 worth of turkeys and brought them to United Way.
“It’s just that kind of generosity that makes such a difference,” Hunter said.
But Hunter also was touched by some smaller donations.
A mentally challenged student in the High School Transition program, housed in the United Way building, saved her money for several weeks to purchase a turkey, he said.
And a retired schoolteacher couple brought in four turkeys.
Hunter said members of Students United, which are high school students, and students from Weber State University’s Communication Department garnered support Saturday as they stood on the sidewalk near the United Way building with signs alerting motorists to the holiday food drive.