Tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of pounds of food—2021 has been a banner year for giving in Utah, Wasatch, and Summit counties, and we couldn’t be more grateful for everyone who’s helped us make our community a better place.
“This is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family,” says Tom Hogan, COO of Community Action Services and Food Bank. “People are incredibly generous with their time and funds for our programs. Anytime we ask for anything, people are running to help.”
We couldn’t help people in need in our community without our generous donors. This year, Community Action has seen incredible donations to our pantries through food drives, gifts of school supplies, and funds to keep our Financial Learning Center and other programs running and serving the people who need them. Keep reading to learn about our community’s generosity this year.
Thanks to financial donations from our donors, 2021 has been full of successes at Community Action—and it’s not over yet.
We’re grateful to be included once again in these donation vending machines at University Place in Orem. The machines opened for business on November 23, and donors are turning out in impressive numbers to donate to Community Action and other local and global charities. The Giving Machines are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., through January 1.
This year’s Giving Tuesday resulted in about $10,000 in donations to Community Action—all on a single day.
Financial Learning Center
This year, an anonymous donor wrote a large check to ensure we’d have staff to meet with clients one on one to guide them through budgeting and other financial matters. We now have 15 to 16 households coming to the center every Saturday (in the past, we saw around four people). We’ve also hired a bilingual teacher who’s given access to our classes to a whole new community.
Donors gave $27,000 to help fund the program, which teaches people how to pull themselves out of poverty.
This year brought food drives both small and really, really big. Food drives kept our shelves stocked, from the 500 pounds gathered by students at Centennial Elementary to the more than 244,000 pounds through Feed Utah.
Valley United Against Hunger
Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University run this food drive every November. This year, the drive resulted in 5,000 pounds in food donations and $27,000 in financial gifts to Community Action.
We were blown away by this food drive in 2021. Typically, volunteers gather around 86,000 pounds of food for Community Action through this drive formerly known as Scouting for Food. This year, that number nearly tripled, reaching 244,297 pounds. In one LDS stake in Orem, donors gave 46,000 pounds—about 10 pounds per person in the stake.
Between Target and Costco, we had about 15,000 pounds of school supplies donated this year. We sorted the supplies and put them into 15 bins containing about 1,000 pounds of supplies each. Teachers from the Provo School District, which has the highest poverty level in Utah County, came in and “shopped” for supplies for their students in our warehouse.
“It was fun to see teachers with full shopping carts of supplies that they’ll be able to use without spending their own money,” Hogan says.
We’re so grateful for the generous donors—big and small—who’ve helped us make our community a better place this year. From food drives to financial gifts to school supplies, we’ve been able to help people in need thanks to the community’s support. Here’s looking forward to a bright 2022!