SANDY, Utah. May 14, 2020. A week after its initial launch, the Farmers Feeding Utah campaign has identified its first ‘Miracle Project’ with a planned distribution of Utah lamb to several Utah chapters of the Navajo nation in Southeastern Utah – specifically, the Mexican Water, Aneth, Oljato, and Navajo Mountain chapters.
“We’ve been blown away by the initial response to the launch of this campaign and are looking forward to making this first delivery of food,” said Ron Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, the organization behind the Farmers Feeding Utah campaign. “Through this first project, we’re able to help a very deserving group of people that have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and help some Utah sheep ranchers at the same time. These ranchers have had their market for lamb reduced significantly with restaurants operating at limited capacity.”
With the project identified, Farmers Feeding Utah has set a project-specific goal of $100,000 in online donations by May 20th. The distribution of lamb will take place shortly after.
The Navajo Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the country, has seen higher death rates from Covid-19 than most other states in the country. Many live in areas considered food deserts, which are areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. For some communities, unemployment rates are 100% or close to it, as many depend on recreation to fuel economies.
The Utah Farm Bureau and the Hunger Solutions Institute are working with the Utah Division of Emergency Management, USU Extension – San Juan County, and local food pantries to facilitate the distribution of lamb to those in need.
“We are aware of the various difficulties many are experiencing due to this pandemic and realize that an effective pandemic response requires the whole community to pull together,” said Anna Boynton, State Tribal Liaison for the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “We're grateful to the Utah Farm Bureau for their efforts to build this program and are excited about the assistance it will provide to the people of the Navajo Nation who are in need during this unprecedented time.”
To contribute to this project-specific goal of $100,000 in online donations, please visit FarmersFeedingUtah.org.