Granite Education Foundation operates food pantries to combat summer hungerAug 03, 2022 03:14PM ● By Lizzie Walje
Food insecurity is often cited as an invisible problem. It effects children everywhere, and yet, it’s not always evident that a child is at risk of missing a meal. During the school year, children who might not have access to food otherwise, rely on school for nourishment. The summer months, which should bring joy and freedom to children, suddenly become stressful and scary.
“Nothing is scarier than food insecurity,” The Granite Education Foundation said via their Facebook page. “Granite will operate three Community Food Pantries throughout the summer months.”
The foundation is one of many organizations trying to help combat summer hunger. Summer, with its scorching temperatures and long days, already make it difficult for students to stay fed, let alone hydrated.
Summer food pantries are a necessity during a season that often gets overlooked. Here in Utah, the summer months are when donations are at their lowest. In fact, major providers like the Utah Food Bank rely on the giving season, winter, to make up for these sizeable gaps.
While the food bank is a great resource for those seeking food, its location isn’t always ideal for those who may not have the money to spend on excess transit, especially during the current inflation crisis with high gasoline prices. “It falls back on the community, and we want to do our part to make sure we can take care of those in direct need. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance during the summer, [they can visit our website for more information on locations and times],” the foundation stated on Facebook.
According to the foundation, over 54% of students in Granite District are at an economic disadvantage. Moreover, major fallout from the pandemic and inflation have pushed more families into the brink of poverty than in years prior. Not only does the foundation help with providing food, but they also offer students backpacks, shoes, and other essential items to help students succeed in school.
“As a school and as a district, we have such an amazing opportunity to create an environment where students feel loved, safe, and taken care of. It really does begin with helping meet those basic needs,” writes a social worker in the District.
Other organizations are running food pantries this year too. K2 the Church and the Southeast Christian Church also run a monthly pantry. However, many of these pantries conclude at the end of July, leaving August a vulnerable time.
Fortunately, the Granite Education Foundation provides pantry services up to Aug. 11, covering the duration of the summer months. The foundation is running three pantries, one at Granger Elementary, another at Mill Creek Elementary and the last at Kearns High School. All students and families are invited to visit these pantries no questions asked.
To learn more about the Granite Education Summer pantry hours, locations, and overall operations please visit Food Pantries (granitekids.org). λ