SALT LAKE CITY — The weather outside may be frightful, but the warmth of Utah's record giving is delighting Utah's food bank network, which is more than halfway to its goal of 1.6 million pounds of food and more than three-fourths the way to its number of donated turkeys.
So far, including donations from the biggest single-day drive of the year two Saturdays ago, 956,664 pounds of food have been collected. More than 20,900 frozen turkeys for holiday dinners have been donated toward the goal of 28,000.
The tally has been achieved through the extra efforts of many civic improvement groups, Boy Scouts, 4-H and private corporations, said Jim Pugh, executive director of the Utah Food Bank.
The holiday season is traditionally the high-giving time of year, but the food bank is in need of high-protein items year-round, "and the quantity and quality of meat donation this year is phenomenal. We couldn't be more grateful for the enthusiastic involvement across the community this year," he said.
The annual 4-H Donated Meat Program is expecting yields of 120,000 pounds of food, an increase of nearly 98 percent. The processed meat will be distributed to outlets in 10 counties.
Funding for the 4-H drive comes from businesses and organizations that include Questar, Salt Lake County, Ivory Homes, Semi-Service and Red Man Pipe and Supplies. The drive is unique because the lamb, hogs and cattle were raised by the 4-H youth themselves.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our 4-H and FFA youth to be involved with local businesses and government groups to support such a worthy cause with Utah Food Bank," said Kelly Maxfield, a Davis County 4-H leader and Questar vice president. "When companies support this program, they are not only showing their commitment to youth-development programs, but are also making a statement to fight hunger in our communities."
Meanwhile, the Wells Fargo Million Dollar Challenge has collected $54,854 donated online, 28 percent of its goal.
Kid Power is a club formed last year to go door-to-door collecting money to buy turkeys specifically for Thanksgiving. Donors could give a turkey or just enough to buy a drumstick if they chose. Kid Power collected enough money to purchase 417 turkeys and 920 cans of food.
University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics continues its efforts to reach a record goal of collecting 50,000 pounds of food during the holiday season. It printed and mailed donation bags to all employees, made "I Gave" sticker for donors and even made a unique costume to promote their drive and encourage generosity.
The annual TransSiberian Orchestra concert and Citadel Communications donation yielded $7,422 to help families in need. From every TransSiberian Orchestra ticket sold, $1 went for the donation.
For donors who might be interested in a tax write-off for their gifts, receipts that note the pounds given can be obtained through the organizations. Individuals are free to match that in-kind donation receipt with their sales receipts for tax purposes. The food bank provides the detail of the donations, but not the value.
- Frances Monson, wife of LDS prophet, passes away
- XanGo co-founder accuses partners of...
- Fly a flag for Cody: Army confirms Utah man...
- Mia Love announces she's officially running...
- GOP delegates reject changes to nominating...
- Airport TRAX ridership remains strong weeks...
- Mitt Romney to live in Utah — at least...
- Early diagnosis may be key in slowing...
- Frances Monson, wife of LDS prophet,... 65
- Mitt Romney to live in Utah — at... 46
- GOP delegates reject changes to... 27
- Mia Love announces she's officially... 27
- Utah GOP convention agenda includes... 20
- Angry Orrin Hatch: IRS guilty of... 19
- Mormon missionary age announcement... 15
- Swallow headlines spark question:... 12