Donors sometimes have questions about their donations, and we are happy to provide information about how donations are used. Here are answers to questions we are frequently asked: 

How does every dollar equal 4 meals?  

Community Action Services & Food Bank can stretch an average dollar to equal 4 meals (USDA defines a “meal” as 1.2 pounds of food) through: 

  1. Our tax-exempt status: The money we would have spent on sales tax can be used to buy more food. 
  1. Bulk purchasing: Buying in bulk at lower unit costs means each $1 can buy more food. 
  1. Generating matching dollars and grant funding: Your local dollar can be matched by private and government grant dollars, allowing us to buy twice as much food. And, 
  1. Supplementing it with grocery rescue donations: The value of food donations from grocery stores averages together with our food purchases extending the amount of food each donated dollar provides. 

Inflation has impacted this. The average donated dollar used to be able to provide 6 meals.  

Which is better monetary or food donations? 

Fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden in the summer and fall are greatly appreciated. 

Otherwise, if we had to choose one or the other, monetary donations are better for a couple of reasons.  We are able to pool monetary donations so we can buy food items in bulk at a lower unit cost. Additionally, monetary donations provide flexibility so we can purchase food items to fill in gaps in our food donations. Another benefit to monetary donations is their potential to be matched dollar for dollar with other grants or private funding.  

How is the food bank doing? 

Our food bank URGENTLY needs your help! For the last 18 months, our output has been bigger than our input. So many families in Utah, Summit & Wasatch County are struggling! The high inflation and housing costs we’ve seen have left no money in the family budget for food. Visiting our food pantries keeps families housed, preventing traumatic and expensive evictions or foreclosures that make it even harder for families to get back on their feet. 78% more people are using our pantries compared to last year. We’ve had to pull from our food reserves and our warehouse has gone from having $1 million pounds of food in it to less than 200,000 pounds. That won’t last long without more donations coming in–we typically distribute 350-400,000 pounds of food each month. 

What items do you need in the food bank? 

Right now, we are so low on food that anything you have in your pantry is needed in ours! High protein items are especially needed (chili, canned meats), such as mac & cheese, peanut butter, and canned fruits & vegetables. Diapers, rash cream, and other toiletries are also essential.   

How do you work with Utah Food Bank? Can I drop off food for you at their new Springville location? 

Utah Food Bank is one of our valuable partners! They are one of our regular food suppliers. Since they serve all of Utah, they help bring food donations from the rest of the state into Utah, Wasatch & Summit Counties. On the flip side of that, food donations made to Utah Food Bank from inside Utah, Wasatch & Summit Counties are distributed throughout the state.  

Their Springville location distributes all food donations to southeastern Utah. For that reason, we recommend directly donating to us if you want your donation to stay local!