Every office has one that table or countertop where backyard gardeners deposit their excess squash, plums, peaches and tomatoes for public consumption.
Utahns Against Hunger is asking Salt Lake-area residents to instead share the bounty of their harvest season by donating home-grown produce and fruit on Share the Harvest Day, Saturday, Sept. 19."This will enable those zucchini to find a better home," said nutrition advocate Susan Soleil.
Unlike previous years, organizers will be relying heavily on contributions from individuals and less so from corporate sponsors. The change represents a return to the 15-year-old event's origins, she said.
"It's a neighbor-helping-neighbor kind of event that brings communities together in the spirit of sharing. It helps to remind us all that, even in currently prosperous Utah, there are lots of people who are unable to meet their food needs," said Steve Johnson, executive director of Utahns Against Hunger.
Donated fruit and vegetables will be accepted at four locations until 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
- Mountainville Christian Assembly of God, 300 E. 8000 South, Midvale
- Westvale Presbyterian Church, 3610 S. 4400 West, West Valley City
- St. Ann's Church, 500 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City
- Utahns Against Hunger, 845 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City.
Food will be distributed among people in need beginning at noon. No identification is necessary.
In addition to food, advocates and volunteers will distribute information about other food and low-income resources available in the Salt Lake Valley.
Share the Harvest began as a response to requests from Salt Lake's religious community for a hands-on project to respond to hunger.
Utahns Against Hunger estimates that 12 percent of all Utahns - more than 200,000 adults and children - live in households with earnings that put them officially below the federal poverty level. Caseload figures for Utah's 80 emergency pantries are currently estimated to be 10,000 boxes of food each month and rising.
Beyond the Share the Harvest event, garden produce is needed all season long. Produce can be donated at the nearest emergency food pantry. Call Utahns Against Hunger for the nearest location, 328-2561.
Produce may also be dropped off during working hours at:
- Cactus & Tropicals, 2735 S. 2000 East
- Salt Lake Community Col-lege/Thayne Center, 4600 S. Redwood Road
- Westminster College/Shaw Center, 1840 S. 1300 East
- Utahns Against Hunger, 845 W. 100 South.