SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake County has launched a new website that offers easy access to food resources for those who may have difficulty.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, food-insecure Utah residents have seen a surge and food aid services have been in high demand.
One in 10 Utah households is food insecure, and more than 102,000 Utah families do not have the resources to buy enough, according to an annual report on household food security in the United States for 2020. of food.
The new Food Access webpage provides simple and clear links to all of the food aid programs available in Salt Lake County and Utah. Links and descriptions to programs such as the National School Meal Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) and local food banks can to be found.
For those who are 60 years of age or older, links are available to Meals on Wheels, local senior center meals, Utah food banks, the Basic Food Supplementary Feeding Program (CSFP), and the farmers’ markets of the senior center.
“In 2020, service providers saw a sharp increase in the need for food aid,” said Marti Woolford, webpage designer and special projects coordinator for the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office for New Americans. “United Way 2-1-1 Received More Than Twice As Many Calls From People Seeking Help With Food And The Utah Food Bank Mobile Pantry Program Has Seen A 192% Increase In Households served since the start of the pandemic at the same time last year. “
County officials say throughout 2020 United Way 2-1-1 received more than double the usual number of calls from people in need of food assistance. 2-1-1 is a toll-free number that connects people to services such as housing assistance and utilities, food resources, legal aid, and more.
The Utah Food Bank’s mobile pantry has seen a 192 percent increase in the number of households served throughout the pandemic. Woolford happily says emergency food aid programs like SNAP have been able to meet the surge in demand during the COVID-19 crisis.
“If these programs were not able to meet the need, the rate of food insecurity in 2020 would have been much higher,” says Woolford.
Even resources for pet owners who struggle to feed their furry loved ones can use the Food Access web page to explore resources like Utah Best Friends and Pet Crew Pantry, services that provide pet food to pets. residents who may have difficulty.
“The health and well-being of the residents of Salt Lake County is a top priority of my administration,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “Our senior centers provide a nutritious breakfast for the elderly. The WIC program ensures babies and new moms have access to healthy food and our Pet Crew Pantry makes sure our pets don’t go without food either. The new Food Access webpage makes it much easier to get help from these county programs and many other food resources. “