Area food bank seeking donations for Thanksgiving amid low supplies
OGDEN — A local food bank is asking for help as the holiday season quickly approaches.
Officials with Catholic Community Services of Utah’s Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank are asking for donations to help give families in need a Thanksgiving meal.
Durrell Annis, office manager/Bridging the Gap coordinator with CCS, told the Standard-Examiner that the food bank is hitting a critical point at the moment, one month ahead of Thanksgiving.
“The bottom line is we are really short on food,” she said. “We’ve been short on food for probably the last year, but it’s really starting to hit home right now with holidays coming up. People are thinking about the holidays and they’re signing up for food and they go through our pantry. If you were to come through our pantry right now, you’d see that there’s not a lot on our shelves.”
She said there are several factors behind this.
“The Utah Food Bank doesn’t have a ton of food to give us, our food drives have been really low,” she said. “The same food drives that we had last year this year only yielded about 50% of what they did the last couple of years. … And I think just with the economy and people thinking about purchasing food, they’re thinking about purchasing food and then extra food for themselves rather than extra food for the local food pantry.”
For the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Annis said they are looking for everything, including turkeys for Thanksgiving, hams for Christmas and sides to go along with either, including potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, fresh fruit and other items.
Annis said that the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank serves around 1,500 families per month, representing around 5,000 people.
“We are planning on close to 1,000 holiday boxes going out for Thanksgiving,” she said.
She added that canned fruits, canned vegetables, eggs, butter and margarine are also desired.
The best time to drop off items for holiday packages is a week or two before Thanksgiving. Distribution of Thanksgiving food packages will occur on Nov. 21-22, the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
While looking ahead toward the holidays, Annis said there is still a major need for items in the interim.
“There is a general need across the board for everything,” she said. “We need diapers and wipes, we need protein items, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, tuna, canned meats.
She said the food bank is currently doing well on green beans and canned tomatoes for day-to-day operations.
Annis said that overlooked items and even some unique items are also appreciated.
“When you think of a food pantry, you think of the food, but a lot of times they don’t think of the hygiene items,” she said. “Nonperishable items are always great, but for example, we had some hunters bring in some elk meat that they packaged and donated to us. Think outside the box a little bit. I just had a lady call me (Monday) and she has a lot of leftover apples on the apple tree. Those would be great for our clients.”
She said that hygiene items, toilet paper and paper towels are also taken by the food bank.
Anyone interested in donating can bring items to the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank at 2504 F Ave. Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.