The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is asking for donations for supplies such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and hand soap at its main Spanish Fork office in hopes of distributing them to people in need.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, the sheriff’s office public information officer, said he hopes the UCSO can start distributing supplies starting Monday.
People who are interested in dropping off donations can go to the main sheriff’s office, located at 3075 N. Main, Spanish Fork, during its normal operating hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
If people want to drop off a donation after hours, they can call dispatch and request a sheriff’s deputy meet them at the office to take the donations, Cannon said.
Cannon said distribution will be conducted through the Meals on Wheels program, which drops off two meals per day Monday through Friday to homebound senior citizens.
“We figured that if somebody’s in that program, they probably stand an above-average likelihood of having some need in other areas,” Cannon said.
Specifically, the UCSO is asking people to donate toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soap and tissues, but people have dropped off other supplies such as baby wipes, disinfectant wipes and bar soap.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a surge in panic buying across the state of Utah and the country as a whole.
Stores are frequently running out of essential supplies like toilet paper and hand sanitizer and have started limiting purchases for those items.
Cannon and his wife took a long drive over the weekend to Price, went into a store and saw toilet paper on the shelf for the first time in three weeks, he said.
Cannon said the donations likely won’t help everyone in need, but he’s hoping it can at least make a difference to somebody.
“There’s a lot of things in various situations people are in need of and we’re not pretending this is going to solve all the problems, but we’re hoping to at least lighten the burden in at least this one target group,” he said.
The pandemic, and resulting panic buying, has been especially difficult for senior citizens, who are the most vulnerable age demographic as it relates to the coronavirus.
Some grocery stores have instituted senior-only shopping hours on certain days of the week to give them a time to do their shopping without worrying too much about crowds and potential exposure to the virus.