Food Bank FAQ

What is a food bank?

A food bank is an organization that collects, stores and distributes food to other agencies in an effort to alleviate hunger. As the second largest food bank in Utah, the Community Action Food Bank collects and distributes more than 3.5 million pounds of food each year to more than 26 partner agencies throughout Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties.

What is the difference between a food bank and a food pantry?

Unlike pantries, food banks do not distribute food to the direct public. Pantries have the responsibility to seek out and help families receive food. Food banks have the responsibility to ensure pantries have the resources they need to feed the families seeking help. Often, food banks refer to the pantries they supply food to as partner agencies. Here at Community Action Services and Food Bank, we operate a food bank and four food pantries.

Who does the food bank provide food for?

Community Action Services and Food Bank supplies food to other hunger alleviating non-profit organizations in Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties, including pantries in Payson, Kamas, Coalville, Heber and Provo.  If your organization is interested in opening a pantry within our region, please contact Jim Thomas at 801-592-7832.

What qualifies a person to receive food services?

Individuals and families are invited to meet with a counselor to discuss their income and expenses in order to determine whether or not they qualify for services through one of our pantries. Individuals must provide certain documents in order to be considered. For more information on getting help from the food pantry, click here.

Can I donate food if it is past the expiration date?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions and the answer is YES! The dates we see on items in the store have different meanings to different people. What may be considered to be an expiration date, may actually be a best if used by date, meaning the company will only gurantee the freshness and nutritional content up until that date. For other entities, these are shelf rotation dates that are used to determine how long a particular item has remained on the shelf. Dates are often used for marketing purposes to determine which items are selling and which aren’t. Many items have a much longer shelf life then we may really understand. One of the easiest ways to know if a can is no longer good is if it is bulging, leaking or rusting. So next time you are cleaning out your pantry and thinking about throwing away that can of soup from last year, think about donating it to the food bank instead of throwing it away.

Can I donate food from the LDS cannery?

Yes. Any food that is commerically packaged can be donated to the food bank. This not only includes items from the LDS Cannery, but also any of the local meat processors.

How can I receive food from the food pantry?

If you are in need of emergency food assistance, visit Community Action Services and Food Bank at 815 South Freedom Boulevard in Provo or the pantry nearest you. Please be advised, not all pantries have the same office hours. Click here for a list of locations and hours of operation.

Appointments can be made by phone by calling 801-373-8200.

For more information on what documents you need to bring to your appointment, click here.

How do individuals pick up food?

Individuals can pick up food orders from any one of our pantries during business hours. Be advised that not all of our food pantries have the same hours of operation. Check the hours of your local food pantry before visiting.

How do individuals donate food?

Food donations can be made at Community Action Services and Food Bank, located at 815 South Freedom Boulevard in Provo, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Food can also be donated through one of the many food drives that occur during the year. For a list of upcoming food drives, click here.

With our resources, CASFB can collect 17 pounds of food for every $1 donation. If you would like to donate money rather than food, click here.

How can I find the food bank or food pantry nearest me?

For a list of food banks and food pantries throughout Utah, visit our list of locations. This list has addresses and hours for each location.

How can I help?

The food bank is always in need of extra help, especially during large food drives. Due to the nature of the work in the food bank, volunteers must be at least 12 years of age. We do however, have other opportunities for individuals of all ages. If you are interested in volunteering at the food bank, contact our volunteer coordinator by emailing VC@CommunityActionUC.org or by calling 801-691-5247. If you are planning to bring a group of three people or more, please schedule you visit with our volunteer coordinator at least one week in advance.

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