It’s officially the season of giving! Community Action Services and Food Bank here in Provo is focusing on helping those in need.

But it’s more than just a food bank.

The organization has been around since 1967 and isn’t just a place to dump off food—it’s a place where people can escape poverty and turn their lives around.

Community Action Services and Food Bank is not a standard food bank. While they aim to collect canned goods and other products, the food donations only act as a stepping stone. The organization focuses on basic needs first, then helps struggling individuals rebuild their lives.

Dave Smith, the food bank director, emphasized, “What we hope people understand is the food is to stabilize people. You can’t deal with your challenges in life if you’re starving—if you’re really hungry.”

Once families and individuals are stable, the organization offers several programs like financial counseling, a learning center, housing assistance, and more.

People may not know of the poverty right here in Utah County.

Smith shed light on this issue, “In Utah County there is roughly 78,000 people who are at or below the poverty level. About one in five children in our area face food insecurity, in that they’re not sure where their next meal is coming from.”

So, what can you do to get involved? First, Community Action urges people to be aware. Second, they ask for donations or volunteers. The organization relies heavily on support from the community.

It’s as easy as donating one can, or working a two-hour shift during the week.

Clay Johnson, the area manager of Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, shared how he and his coworkers have dedicated a week to serving. He said, “Community Action Services does so much to help the people in difficult circumstances and kind of bridge from homelessness and difficulty to more stability. We just felt like it was really important to come down and help the people out and do some great service here in this great organization.”

In addition, Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University students have officially kicked off their annual Valley United food drive. They compete in gathering donations each year, then give what they’ve collected to Community Action Services.

For more information on how you can be apart of the cause, go to and give back to your community.

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