There are a lot of questions at the beginning of the school year, but Macey’s, Lin’s, Dan’s, Dick’s Market, and Fresh Market say they are making sure that where food will come from isn’t one of them. The Utah-owned grocery stores donated $165,518 worth of food to Utah Food Bank’s Mobile School Pantry program last week to help fight food insecurity, especially among children.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to help the youngest members of our community have a great school year by providing nutritious (food) to the Mobile School Pantry program,” said Gary McCloud, operations manager for Associated Retail Operations (ARO), which owns the five grocery banners. “This donation wouldn’t be possible without the great support of our community, and we’re so thankful for their generosity.”
On Thursday, 10 members of the ARO team visited Edison Elementary in Salt Lake City to staff the Mobile School Pantry for the afternoon. Utah Food Bank’s Mobile School Pantry program provides a free monthly food distribution point for students and their families directly from the school playground. More than 65 schools across Utah participate in the program. During Thursday’s donation event, ARO helped 160 families.
“Utah Food Bank is incredibly grateful to Associated Retail Operations and their customers for taking such a stand against hunger,” said Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank’s chief development officer. “With one in five Utah children likely to miss a meal today due to lack of resources, their donation will have a great impact on those we serve through our Mobile School Pantry program.”
Macey’s, Lin’s, Dan’s, Dick’s Market and Fresh Market have partnered with Utah Food Bank since 2009 to provide food to families in need. Over the last seven years, the stores have provided 285,801 meals to families in need through the yearly Season to Share donation and other activities. The 2017 Season to Share drive to benefit the Mobile School Pantry program will begin Nov. 1 at all locations.