By Sgt. James Bunn
Utah Army National Guard
Soldiers from the Utah National Guard partnered with Boy Scouts of America to collect food donations across Utah for Scouting for Food Day Feb. 12, 2022. This year approximately 75 Utah National Guard members helped deliver the donated food to eight food pantries throughout the Wasatch Front.
Scouting for Food is one of the largest donation drives in Utah that provides tons of donated food items to food banks and pantries every year. Scouting for Food is an annual food drive that has been around for more than 36 years and unites Utah communities in the fight against hunger.
“We’ve been a long standing partner in this and the Soldiers and Airmen across the state are highly motivated and very happy to give back to the community,” said Brig. Gen. Tyler Smith, the Assistant Adjutant General, Utah Army National Guard. “The National Guard is a community based organization, your neighbor, school teacher, and policemen, they’re National Guard members, they’re integrated into the community, we are citizen-Soldiers, this is what we do. This is something that allows us to give back to the community that gives us so much support.”
One of the food pantries that benefited from the drive was the Granite School Foundation. The foundation provides food to families and children living in the Granite School District. In addition to serving as a food pantry for individuals and families, the Granite School District also creates weekend food kits for students attending schools in the school district.
“Granite School District has more than 64,000 students and 54 percent of them are on free or reduced lunches. That’s a significant amount of students and their families who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from,” said Kim Oborn, the director of the Granite School Foundation. “By adding in food pantries in our schools we are able to provide food so that our families and students can focus on paying their bills, staying in their homes, students can focus on learning and accomplishing their goals and don’t have to worry where their next meal is coming from.”
The Utah National Guard moved donated food from donation locations to food pantries and warehouses across the state, solving what Smith identified as the distribution problem of solving hunger.
For more information about Scouting for Food donation sites or to find a local food pantry, visit www.utahscouts.org/scoutingforfood.
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