Last November, the Community Action Services Food Bank was invited to be a recipient of donations from Latter-day Saint Charities Giving Machines.
This November those donations, equaling $131,000, allowed Tom Hogan, director of the food bank, and Brock Day with Day’s Market in Provo, to purchase four semi-trailers full of food — about 127,000 pounds worth.
What Hogan and Day have done with that food has allowed for about 3,000 boxes to be made that will provide staples to start rebuilding their pantry shelves. Each box will have 52 pounds of food.
Hogan noted that many of the families they see at the food bank have used up their storage and staples to build basic meals, and by giving them these types of food products it can help them start the process of adding to their pantry again.
According to Hogan, those staples will include flour, sugar, oil, pasta, rice, beans, canned fruit and vegetables, baking soda and baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
“These items are so families can build meals,” Hogan said. “This is in addition to what we normally do.”
When Hogan first decided to get food, he looked at many store warehouses, but decided that he needed to go to a local grocer. He ended up working with Day, from Day’s Market on Canyon Road in Provo.
“We were able to find most of the items he needed through our warehouse,” Day said. “We had some supply issues because of the pandemic. We were also able to coordinate a direct delivery to the food bank.”
Day said while that was a big delivery to receive, it cut out having to deliver and pick up twice.
Day said he had been working with Hogan for several months on the project and was able to connect with their warehouse, Associated Foods.
Day said his family’s store and its customers have always been charitable.
“We try to every day take customers’ donations, and we donate to the food bank,” Day said. The store has donation jars out year-round.
With the help from Day’s Market, Hogan was able to utilize the Giving Machine money to the best of his ability.
That also means families can get a staples box, a regular food box and because it’s Thanksgiving, they also will get stuffing and a turkey as well.
“We’ve set up assembly lines to fill the boxes,” Hogan said. “Some of the boxes are being delivered to small pantries and schools.”
Hogan said he is concerned about getting enough turkeys.
“Turkey purchases are seeing an uptick in sales because no one is going to grandma’s this year,” Hogan said. “They are all cooking at home.”
Hogan hopes he has enough turkeys to take care of the growing number of families who need help this time of year.
“We started seeing a slight steady uptick in people coming to the food bank after July when the additional unemployment went away,” Hogan said.
He noted they have about 800 families that come to the food bank for help.
In the coming days, with the pandemic continuing, he is expecting to see more families in need.
He is hoping to keep food donations coming, not just through the holidays, but through 2021 as well.
Hogan also said he is happy to see folks wanting to volunteer. Filling 3,000 boxes is taking some time and helping hands are always a plus.
For information about the Community Action Services Fook Bank, visit http://communityactionprovo.org.