Helping at the Utah Food Bank!

Tiffany Lloyd
Summer of Service Volunteer

My daughter Catie and I had a lot of fun doing some volunteer work at the Utah Food Bank with United Way of Salt Lake’s Summer of Service program! The fun started right away with the kids donating coins by playing with the coin racer. Next we got to be in a group photo with all the other volunteers. From there we broke up in to 3 different groups and we got to go on a tour of the facility. Our tour guide, Jordan, gave us a very informative tour where we learned that they used to offer handyman services and other things like that before they decided to focus solely on food. The kids got to see the kitchen where meals for the kids cafe are prepared then we proceeded upstairs to check out the conference room that had pictures of some of the places that Utah Food Bank sends the food for distribution. Thankfully, Jordan knew that the kids needed a quick break so they had about 30 seconds of free time where they got to run around and scream. It was fun to watch the kids jumping around and doing cart wheels.

From there we got to check out the warehouse and see all of the boxes of food they had. We learned that last year the Utah Food Bank sent out 34 million pounds of food to various agencies and that they send out food 16 times a year! The kids were very impressed with that and understood that was a lot of work. On the wall above the office there were many large checks. Jordan told us about the largest one that they had ever received–$700,000 from Walmart! They received this check because last year Walmart held a contest to see what city could get the most likes on Facebook to win a million dollars for the Utah Food Bank. I remember voting for Salt Lake City and was excited that we won!

Next we went to the sorting room and got to sort through very large boxes of donations to smaller boxes so that the contents could be sent out. I think this was the kids’ favorite part because they got to climb into the extra large boxes and hand out the food! The parents then got to sort them out into the smaller boxes. I like to sort things so I thought this was a lot of fun. It was hard work but there was a lot to do and I’m not sure we made a good dent!

After that we took our turn coloring boxes. During our tour we learned that one of the programs they offer is food delivery to those that can’t come in themselves. To make food delivery more enjoyable, volunteers color the boxes. Catie liked that because she said it would make someone feel better. I hope that we will be able to go back and help out again soon. Thank you to United Way of Salt Lake for the opportunity! 

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