Last week, thousands of students at Utah State University finished their finals and left Cache Valley. Many of them helped hundreds of local families on their way out.
Organized by Logan City, bins were placed at five apartment complexes in and around campus. Students were asked to donate any food they didn’t want to take home with them.
“It’s quite a bit,” exclaims Cache Community Food Pantry Director Matt Whittaker. “I’ve been to college, and I know what it’s like to hurry up and leave. You need a place for things to go and sometimes it gets thrown away if nothing is available.”
Whittaker says the food drive has been a great resource for the food pantry and appreciates the efforts by Logan City to facilitate the donations, something they have been doing for about a decade. This year, approximately 1,000 pounds of food were donated.
“Everything is in date,” Whittaker continues. “It’s just product the kids don’t want to take with them when they go home or wherever they’re going. They’ll put it in the bin and we give it to families who need it.”
With Cache Valley at virtually full employment, the food pantry still provides needed food and services to families.
“There are still a lot of people coming for assistance. A lot of them may be new move-ins to the valley, maybe they haven’t received their first check yet, things of that nature. We are staying pretty consistent with the number of families we are serving.”
The largest amount of food donations happens in November and December, so Whittaker says getting that much food at this time of year is very beneficial. He says the pantry is also gearing up for a big food drive taking place this weekend with the U.S. Postal Service and its letter carriers.
“The (Letter Carriers) will leave a plastic sack in your mail box,” Whittaker says. “This Saturday, just put some food in it and leave it by your mail box and the post office will get it back to us.”
He says the food pantry annually receives about 44,000 pounds of food from the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
Receiving food donations are the pantry’s number one priority, but the non-profit organization could also use monetary donations, too. Whittaker says if people would like to make a financial contribution they are welcome to stop by the pantry, located at 359 South Main Street in Logan, or by making a donation through their website.