Provo food bank meets rising food needs

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Food insecurity has increased among Utah residents as grocery and rent prices rise.

Community Action Services and Food Bank is a local non-governmental organization that has addressed the surging food needs.

Tom Hogan is the chief operating officer of Community Action Services and Food Banks.

“All pantries across Utah are seeing the same numbers: 50%, 60% greater need,” Hogan said.

The NGO operates an emergency food program designed to assist individuals who fall within 200% of the federal poverty level or lower.

Hogan emphasized that combating hunger extends beyond the confines of their warehouse, as the escalating demand is causing a deficit in the food bank’s inventory. Tackling the issue requires a collective effort from the entire community to support those in need.

“Somebody is going to give me a couple of bags of food and I’m gonna be able to get it into a household that doesn’t have any,” Hogan said.

On average, the food pantry processes 5,000 orders per month, serving 200 different households daily. Each household is permitted to visit twice a month.

“And we make that happen because of all these wonderful partners and people that donate into food banks,” Hogan explained.

Visitors to the food pantry have access to a variety of essential items, including grains, canned goods, meats, frozen foods, vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk, bread and more.

The scale of the issue demands an equally significant solution, according to volunteer Samantha Scrogham.

“There’s a lot more people than I thought there were and … it takes a lot of people to come together,” Scrogham said.

Hogan described the food bank as a place where those in need intersect with those who can help fulfill those needs.

“At its core, it’s about a potential friend, helping another potential friend,” Hogan said.

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