Incoming Salt Lake County mayor aims to help fill Utah Food Bank shelves

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2 2013 5:50 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor-elect Ben McAdams' inauguration will be part service project.

Attendees will be asked to bring donations of nonperishable food to the event, which is by invitation only. That celebration will kick off a week-long food drive at the Salt Lake County Complex. All donations will benefit the Utah Food Bank.

McAdams is scheduled to release full details of next week's inauguration day plans at a press conference Thursday.

McAdams will be sworn in Monday along with incumbent Salt Lake County Councilmen Max Burdick, Jim Bradley and Michael Jensen along with Sam Granato, who was elected to his first term on the council in November.

The Utah Food Bank welcomes another opportunity to fill its shelves and to highlight the ongoing needs of the community, said chief marketing officer Ginette Bott.

Statewide, 1 in 6 Utahns is unsure where they will obtain their next meal, according to the Utah Food Bank statistics.

"It's the awareness factor and the educational opportunity we really appreciate," Bott said.

The food bank attempts to stagger its large-scale donation events, such as the Boy Scout drive in March and the Letter Carriers' drive in May, to ensure a stable supply of food.

The leanest months tend to be in June, July and August. The need for food is particularly acute because children who rely on reduced-price or free school nutrition programs are home for the summer, Bott said.

Utahns tend to contribute generously to the food bank during the holidays. To better serve its clients, the Utah Food Bank needs that "spirit of giving" to be spread throughout the year, she said.

The numbers of people seeking assistance from the statewide network of food pantries and agencies served by the Utah Food Bank have remained stable from a year ago, but people are seeking assistance longer than in previous years, Bott said.

The food bank distributes food statewide to some 129 emergency food pantries, agencies, churches, senior centers and after-school programs.

The Utah Food Bank distributed more than 28 million meals across the state during fiscal year 2012.

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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