Summer often proves difficult for area food banks as demands rise and donations decrease, and this year is no exception.
Geri Gamber from the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments explained that while a slight dip in the summer months is common, this year it is devastating in Carbon and Emery counties. Food bank employees have had to decrease the amount of food they give to each individual or family just to ensure they have enough food for everyone.
“Donations are our survival,” Gamber said. “Some people completely rely on the help of the food bank for help.”
While all donations to the local banks are appreciated, some are needed more than others. Gamber explained that protein-rich foods, such as tuna, meat, eggs, milk and peanut butter, are not often donated but are desperately needed. Canned soups, pasta and fresh produce are also in high demand. Money is also graciously accepted.
“Individual people just donating a few items or five dollars helps a ton,” said Gamber.
Assisting the demand for food is the Community Garden at the Carbon County Food Bank. With the help of a high tunnel as well as various volunteers and donating entities, the garden has grown vastly in size since it began three years ago. While items like lettuce and beets have already been harvested, squash, tomatoes, peppers and carrots are growing abundantly to be harvested in the near future. Beehives courtesy of IFA are also located in the garden, which will provide honey to food bank customers.
The Community Garden is made possible by hardworking volunteers along with Price City, IFA, Select Health, Sutherlands, Southwest Plumbing Supply, USU Extension, Sign Edge and CJ’s.
To celebrate this year’s success of the garden, a harvest celebration will take place on Oct. 3. From 12-2 p.m., members of the community will be invited to an event full of fun, food and prizes. Those in attendance will be able to view the garden and donate food to the local bank.