As the impacts of the current health pandemic continue to be felt throughout the state, Farmers Feeding Utah is launching its fourth miracle project to provide relief to farmers and families: Miracle Project Uinta Basin, which will take place September 25, from 5-7 p.m. at the Western Park in Vernal.
“More than six months into this devastating pandemic and Utah’s farmers and families continue to feel the impact. The economy of eastern Utah and jobs in the energy sector have been hit especially hard, so we knew it was time to grow another miracle,” said Ron Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau. “Utahns have been incredibly generous and stepped up to the challenge on our earlier projects, and I’m confident we’ll rise to meet this new one as well.”
Thousands of individuals have lost employment and signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Utah, and many of them live in the Duchesne and Uintah Counties. With the continued impact of the Coronavirus, these numbers continue to rise. With the decline in demand for fuel, many energy companies have been on hold – greatly impacting the many families working in that industry.
Farmers Feeding Utah is a campaign of the Miracle of Agriculture Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that was set up as the charitable arm of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. Additional logistical and in-kind support has come from invaluable partners, including Utah State University (USU) and its Hunger Solutions Institute, the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food (UDAF), The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Farm Bureau Financial Services.
“By serving a community in the Uinta Basin, Farmers Feeding Utah is able to react quickly to the economic conditions in the area and connect families and individuals in need with healthy food choices from Utah farms,” said Heidi LeBlanc, Director of the Hunger Solutions Institute at USU. “Together Farm Bureau, Utah State University and other volunteers, partners and donors are inspiring public confidence and support in American agriculture and meeting hunger needs at the same time.”
“As harm drags on, more and more families need help – both our farm families and our neighbors struggling with food insecurity,” Gibson said. “With the help of donors and businesses, we’ve been able to rise to the challenge so far, but we need their help again now.”
Volunteers will soon notify the recently unemployed with details about picking up the farm-fresh food on September 25. Donations to the ‘Miracle of Agriculture Foundation’ for the Farmers Feeding Utah project are used to purchase, process, and deliver food to families in need, giving both struggling farmers and Utah families a hand up.
To date, the Farmers Feeding Utah campaign has raised more than $400,000 in donations from individuals and businesses, and provided more than 500,000 lbs. of food, with a retail value of more than $500,000 to Utah residents in the Navajo Nation, northern Utah, West Salt Lake, Ogden and to smaller community pantries throughout the Wasatch Front.
To make a tax-deductible contribution to this project, individuals and businesses can go to FarmersFeedingUtah.org.