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Davis Journal

Food pantry welcomes new director

Apr 08, 2021 12:26PM ● By Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—For more than 30 years Terry Foust worked for IHC, now he’s switched gears and taken the helm at the Bountiful Community Food Pantry. 

“I’d done some partnering with the pantry and as I was looking to start the next chapter of my professional life I wanted a closer connection to people in need,” Foust said. “The job is mission driven. It feels like the perfect fit.”

Foust started at Primary Children’s as a clinician, he said. “Then I was at LDS hospital in rehab services. My focus areas were community health for the low income, underserved population.”

He started at the pantry on March 15. “One of the first things I want to do is acknowledge the continued support of our volunteer base,” said Foust. “This organization has the longest tenure I have ever seen. Many of the volunteers have been here since the pantry was in a closet at the church. How they’ve retained and appreciated the volunteers has impressed me.”

The pantry is also committed to the No Hunger Zone pantry pack program, he said. “I’d like to expand that to all schools in need. The pantry is in a good position to support food inefficiency in the county and we want more people to know about it so I want to do more outreach.”

Part of his duties will be to apply for grants and garner donations. “We’ll be looking for community partnerships,” said Foust. “There’s been a lot of support behind the pantry.”

Foust said his position supports all functions. “I have to make sure we’re financially sound and stable. At IHC I had a whole finance department but here I get to be that.” 

When COVID hit many of the older volunteers didn’t feel comfortable coming in. “It’s been really fun because they come into the office now and say ‘I’m back, we’ve had our vaccination’ and some are going through the vaccination process and returning and they’re thrilled to be back,” he said. “We have right around 200 volunteers. Some work in the warehouse, do grocery rescue or help people shop through the market.”

Currently, pantry workers bring food out to patrons to keep things safe during the pandemic. “Some people who come regularly have a standing order,” Foust said. “If they’re brand new we package an order up for them. No one is turned away. We don’t want anyone to leave without food.”

People can still help by assembling pantry packs even though they can’t do it at the pantry right now. “Families can do it on their own,” he said. “They can get a list of food items and make as few as five packs or as much as they’d like and that can be donated to the pantry here. As things improve we’re planning to open up.”

The recent food drive brought in 180,000 lbs of food, Foust said. “I want to thank the community, there was an overwhelming response. I appreciate the generosity of the residents of Davis County in support of people who need food. We thought donations would be down during the pandemic but it’s been the opposite, it’s actually been better than ever. That’s a bit of positive news.”

Foust is looking forward to his new position. “Here I’m closer to the people who need service,” he said. “I get to work where I see the water get to the end of the row – the grassroots. I have that human connection, not only with clients that the pantry serves but the volunteers.”