Granite School District announces more summer food pantry options for students in needJul 01, 2022 09:09AM ● By Lizzie Walie
By Lizzie Walje | [email protected]
Granite School District is helping to combat summer hunger by alerting its students to summer food pantry options. Summer is a season notoriously linked to food insecurity, especially for students who rely on their school to provide multiple daily meals.
“The level of hunger in Utah remains high, 410,000 of our neighbors are facing food insecurity,” Erica Crisco, a Utah Food Bank employee wrote. “[That number of people] is more than the population of Salt Lake, Provo, and St. George combined.”
The past couple of years have been particularly devastating, as Utahns have faced unprecedented food insecurity brought on by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Certain individuals and families, who have never needed food assistance previously, have found themselves in difficult situations.
“Even without the current crisis of rampant inflation as Utahns struggle to recover after the devastating impacts of the pandemic, summer is a tough time for families struggling to make ends meet and fill empty tummies without the help of school meals,” Crisco said.
For those who are unable to dedicate their time to a food pantry, a simple donation of a few cans can make a significant difference for those struggling. Summer, as it turns out, is often cited as the most vulnerable season for food insecurity due to the decreased volume of donations and lack of school programs. In fact, many food pantries rely on the donations that come throughout the fall and winter months that are associated with giving.
Heidi Canella, another Utah Food Bank employee said, “When kids are out of school, they also lose access to school meal programs, and parents have to find a way to provide two additional meals daily, putting additional strain on an already-thin budget. These kids spend their summer worrying about where their next meal will come from instead of swimming at the pool. Sadly, donations are also at their lowest during the summer months as families in a position to help are busy with their summer activities.”
In addition to donations, The Food Bank also stressed the importance of getting volunteers to come out during the summer months.
Two summer pantry events are hosted by a joint partnering of K2 The Church and Southeast Christian Church. They will take place July 9 and Aug. 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. at 1881 Vine Street in Murray.
These are drive-up events. All you need to do to participate is bring a car to the location and pop your trunk. The groceries will be placed in your car. There is also a clothing closet with new and used clothing for the summer months. The clothing closet will be available during pantry hours. All are welcome to participate, no questions asked.
Granite School District will also be opening multiple school cafeterias to students in need. “[We will be] providing free meals to kids aged 18 and younger throughout the summer as part of the USDA’s Summer Lunch program. Lunch will be served in cafeterias and students must be present to receive a meal. Parents will not be permitted to pick up meals to take home,” the District wrote on their Facebook page.For more information, including locations and hours, visit Granite School District’s website www.graniteschools.org/bulletin/free-summer-lunch-locations/.