According to Feeding America, over 350,000 people face hunger in Utah, including 114,000 children. This holiday season, we can show our gratitude by getting involved with community efforts to alleviate this hunger. Here are a few ideas of where you can volunteer in Utah:
Donate to the Holiday Food Drive at Utah Food Bank
The Utah Food Bank is doing their annual food and fund drive through the holiday season. To participate, drop off food donations at any Harmons in the state, the Riverton Chevrolet Car Dealership, or Utah Food Bank’s locations in SLC or St. George. Their most needed food items are peanut butter, mac & cheese, canned meats, chili, spaghetti-Os or ravioli, canned fruits or any other boxed meal. You can also volunteer in person by working in the warehouse or by decorating and delivering food boxes. If you don’t have time to go in person, you can donate money to the food bank. Every dollar donated turns into $8.71 worth of goods and services. Learn more about volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer at the International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee’s programs are designed to help refugees thrive in the United States. This year, with the large influx of refugees from Afghanistan and beyond, the IRC needs your help. There are a variety of ways you can get involved: donate, volunteer, gather supplies, advocate, partner, raise awareness, and stay informed. Find out how to get involved.
Serve a Thanksgiving Meal with Salt Lake City Mission
Take some time this Thanksgiving to serve dinner to those who are currently going without food or shelter. The Salt Lake City Mission needs volunteers of all ages to help distribute the meals. If you can’t make it for Thanksgiving, the Mission also does a Christmas food box giveaway and another dinner on New Year’s Day. They could also use some help with their day-to-day operations including attendants in the food pantry and clothing room as well as drivers to pick up and deliver donations.
Be a Driver for Meals on Wheels
Every day, Meals on Wheels delivers food to homebound seniors. Volunteers are needed to help deliver these meals, but perhaps the most important part of this job is being the friendly connection for these isolated elders as you deliver their meals. Volunteers will be asked to deliver meals during a 1-2 hour route at least twice a month with a delivery time between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This service opportunity is available year-round, so help is needed even after the holiday season.
Can Food at Welfare Square
Volunteers are essential to the success of the Welfare Square cannery, which supplies food banks and other community resources with food for those in need. Get a couple friends or your family and come help process and can goods like applesauce, jams, salsa, and spaghetti sauce. Schedule a shift with the program coordinator.
These organizations rely on volunteers and donations from the community, so give the gift of your time and generosity this holiday season.
Scrambling to prep Thanksgiving dinner? Check out these restaurants serving Thanksgiving feasts for dine-in or take-out.