Prior to COVID, nearly 64,000 people, including almost 23,000 children, were facing hunger in Utah County.
With numbers like that, there will always be those who step up to bring the numbers down through service.
Brent Haymond and the Kiwanis Club in Springville are no strangers to collecting food and donating to people in need.
Every year, they collect food and fill as many as 400 boxes up with about 20 tons of food.
During the last food drive, though, the group had five tons of goods left over after donating more than 300 boxes to churches and 150 to local schools.
They wanted to get the food to the people who needed it, and they wanted it to stay in Springville.
So, they reached out to Community Action Services and Food Bank to discuss how they could help more people in their city in an ongoing way.
The answer was a joint-venture food pantry. The Kiwanis Club and Community Action Services and Food Bank worked together on the plan for a Springville food pantry.
Community Action—which has pantries in Provo, Heber,and Coalville—would stock the shelves. The Kiwanis Club would then operate the pantry and supply volunteers. Next up was finding the right space.
The Kiwanis Club helped Mountainland Head Start purchase the old Grant School in Springville, and the school still had unused space in the building. So, the school was happy to rent the space for a food pantry.
Once they had a location, Community Action added a freezer, refrigerator, and shelving.
The new pantry opened in early April, and Haymond said the community is embracing it.
People see the benefits of having an easily accessible place for Springville residents in need.
The city is behind the efforts, too, and now has formed a committee to help people in need.
The pantry at 400 East 100 South is open from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Now that the pantry’s up and running, Haymond and the Kiwanis plan to promote it. In the fall, they’ll distribute fliers to schools that will go to children in need. Those kids will be able to reach out to the school if they need help, and the pantry will set them up with food.
They also plan to send emails to parents through the schools.
Haymond said it has been a blessing to reach people in need in Springville and help connect them with emergency food and other assistance.
They saw a need in the community and contacted Community Action Services and Food Bank to get started. Now they’re open and planning for the future.
If you’re interested in volunteering at one of our food pantries, call us at (801) 373-8200. (Serve Daily submission.)