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Davis Journal

Feed Utah drive proves highly successful for Bountiful Food Pantry

Mar 21, 2024 12:24PM ● By Tom Haraldsen
Volunteers filled collection bins with donated food during the Feed Utah drive last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Bountiful Pantry

Volunteers filled collection bins with donated food during the Feed Utah drive last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Bountiful Pantry

The annual Feed Utah food drive on Saturday was a huge success, especially for the Bountiful Food Pantry. Despite the ever-present strong canyon winds, volunteers gathered at four outside locations in Davis County to collect donated food, filling large metal bins with the donations. Then those bins from the three remote locations were transported to the BFP via four semi trucks.

“The efforts by our volunteers, and the trucking companies that donated their services, were amazing,” said Rebekah Anderson, executive director of the Bountiful Food Pantry. “We had so many volunteers at our four sites, and even more inside here at the pantry once the donations arrived. We worked long into the evening and frankly, everybody was sore from all the lifting when we were done.”

She said that as of Monday afternoon, donations had totaled more than 173,000 pounds of food, with some still coming in. She said the final total should be about 175,000 pounds, much higher than last year’s total of 157,000 pounds.

“Our all-time record is 180,000 pounds. I don’t think we’ll hit that, but these much needed donations should help carry us well into the summer for non-perishable food,” she said.

Over 200 volunteers pitched in. At one collection site in Centerville, some left early after the allotted connection bins they had were already filled. So some volunteers actually loaded items in their vehicles and brought them to the pantry.

“We just felt we wanted to be sure this food found its way to the pantry,” said Darlene Black, a Centerville resident who came to the pantry with a trunk load of donated food. “There was a lot of excitement in our community about helping the pantry out.”

Many families placed bags of food on their front porches for pickup by volunteers on Saturday morning. Most of those volunteers were members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as members from other churches, all of whom are critical parts of the annual food drive.

“We couldn’t accomplish this without the help from these churches,” Anderson said. “We always have tremendous community support for this drive, which is the biggest in the state each year.”

Even with those door-do-door pickups, some residents brought food directly to the pantry when their front porch bags weren’t collected.

“It’s something we love doing as a family each year,” said Bountiful resident Todd Morningside. “Our kids loved coming over here this morning to see all of those bins filled with bags and boxes of food. They feel that every item we give might be helping feed someone their age in a family in need.”

Anderson praised Walmart, Pride Trucking and Arrow Moving for donating the use of their semi trucks. Each came to the pantry filled with those collectible bins (called Gaylords, named after the manufacturer). Each filled bin contained between 700-900 pounds of food. By the time they were rolled into the warehouse on Saturday afternoon, “there was hardly any room for us to turn around,” Anderson said with a smile. “But we’ll be just fine going through things and getting them sorted.”

She added that everyone involved with the pantry “is so very grateful for the support of our communities. The need for food has never been greater, and when we ask for donations, the community is always very generous.”