CASFB: Meet Utah County’s Food & More Network
As Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties’ local food bank and the second largest food bank in Utah, Community Action Services & Food Bank distributed 497,763 pounds of food in November — 55% more than the same month last year. With Utah’s high inflation and housing prices, lines outside CASFB’s food pantries each morning are the new normal. Many people are still scrambling to get back on their feet in this tough economic market.
Luckily, CASFB’s community has a network of partners to help these families put food on the table known as the Utah County Food & More Network. You may wonder how all these organizations work together with CASFB to help our neighbors in Utah County. Here’s a rundown.
Utah Food Bank
The Utah Food Bank is a statewide food bank that distributes food to other food banks and food pantries all throughout the state, including CASFB. UFB also passes out food boxes through mobile food pantries along the Wasatch Front. UFB is a member of the national Feeding America food bank network, so it’s a great way for dollars from outside the state or from outside Utah County to come into our county and address food insecurity. The Utah Food Bank supplies 20% of the food CASFB distributes.
Donations to UFB from within Utah, whether in cash or food, are redistributed to provide food wherever it’s needed within the state. For instance, UFB’s Southeastern Utah Distribution Warehouse is currently under construction in Springville. Food donations at this location are earmarked for counties in southeastern Utah.
Tabitha’s Way is another local organization with food pantries in American Fork and Spanish Fork and another planned for Saratoga Springs. Tabitha’s Way serves the cities adjacent to its food pantries, and CASFB case managers will soon provide case management at both Tabitha’s Way locations at least once a week.
Additionally, during the growing season, CASFB supports Tabitha’s Way with locally produced vegetables and meat through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Purchase Assistance grant through the Utah Department of Health. Also, CASFB’s food bank supplies food to Tabitha’s Way throughout the year as needed.
Food & Care Coalition
Located in Provo, the Food & Care Coalition is a service provider that assists those experiencing homelessness. It provides hot meals, showers, haircuts, and medical, dental and mental health services as well as temporary housing. CASFB and the Food & Care Coalition share food donations with each other as they become available and are needed.
Here’s a good way to think about how CASFB and the Food & Care Coalition work together to meet different needs in our community: CASFB is like a grocery store for those experiencing food insecurity who have a kitchen where they can prepare meals. The Food & Care Coalition is like a restaurant where guests receive a cooked meal.
On the housing side, CASFB provides emergency shelter vouchers for families and the elderly and helps those experiencing homelessness get back into permanent housing. It can also provide rental and utility assistance to prevent homelessness. For its part, the Food & Care Coalition focuses on providing temporary and permanent housing for those experiencing homelessness.
United Way of Utah County
Another local organization CASFB works with is United Way of Utah County. Because both organizations are located in the same building, some may be confused and think that CASFB is a part of United Way. They are actually distinct organizations with financially independent community efforts. CASFB participates in United Way’s 211 Referral Service.
CASFB also works with more than 90 community partners to distribute food to those in need. These partners include local senior centers, correctional facilities, community organizations and schools in Provo, Nebo and Alpine school districts.
Understanding the Food & More Network in Utah County helps you better understand how your help and support are distributed and needed. Each member of our community is a crucial part of CASFB’s Food & More Network. It is only through sustained support — in time, food or donations — that we can keep fostering self-reliance in our community. We appreciate each of you for your ongoing support of our initiatives. Visit the CASFB website for more information on donating, volunteering or hosting a food drive.