Food Bank Remains Open During Covid


Parker Guertler

The Hope United Methodist Church on 4115 West Sams Boulevard is partnered with the Utah Food Bank to help serve Kearns families every Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. They usually serve about 100 families a week, but in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, that number has increased.
Margot Roberts is the director of the food bank and has worked with the church to help create an essential community service, especially now. Josh Nielsen is a pastor of the church and is involved with helping families through the food bank. In an interview he answered some questions about recent events and their connection to the food bank.
About what problems have come up as a result of the quarantines, he stated, “As a result of social distancing, our entire structure has changed. Normally, we love to allow families to come to our food bank and have a shopping experience. This provides a sense of dignity and choice of what we have to offer. Because of the amount of people who show up through our open hours, that norm has been suspended. We were forced to run the food bank as a drive up service. Taking away the ability to choose, we now have to pack boxes with equal amounts of food for every family, regardless of choice. There is still plenty of food, but the shopping experience has been lost.” He also gave some insight into how the numbers of families being served have changed, saying, “In 2019, we averaged around 100 families per week and served approximately 20,000 people. Since March 16th, we have averaged 200 families per week for the drive-up service and since January have served approximately 10,000 people.”
Despite these new difficulties, the food bank continues to serve the Kearns community and its residents. COVID-19 has forced many people to seriously alter their normal lives to comply with quarantines, as well as taking on greatly increased caution in their regular activities.