News Release

Silicon Slopes Aims to Pack 1 Million Meals for Utah Food Bank

During this week’s two-day Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, more than 5,000 people are volunteering to help package a mountain of meals to help feed the 374,000 Utahns currently facing hunger.

Community members and technology conference attendees who signed up for the Silicon Slopes Serves food drive in the Salt Palace Convention Center hope to meet their goal of preparing 1 million meals, which will be donated to the Utah Food Bank.

 

Downloadable video: SOTs / B-roll 

Silicon Slopes Serves is the philanthropic arm of Silicon Slopes, a nonprofit that seeks to empower Utah’s start-up and tech communities.

“We’ll probably never see the face of the recipients, but we know as we prepare this today that this is going to be life changing for many people throughout the state of Utah,” said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank.

Once the meals are assembled, the local food pantry, located in Salt Lake City, will distribute the food aid to children and senior citizens. In 2019, the Utah Food Bank distributed 38 million meals statewide. This year, the nonprofit hopes to increase that number to 40 million.

“All the things that are positive for a state are happening and attracting companies to come and join us in Utah. Many of them have not recognized that [hunger] is a challenge,” added Bott. “This is the perfect platform for education awareness.”

Several nonprofits — including Hunger Fight, JustServe, Latter-day Saint Charities and Silicon Slopes — worked together to organize the two-day service event during the technology conference.

Elder Craig C. Christensen, Utah Area president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, volunteered on Thursday afternoon.

“President [Russell M.] Nelson would say we all have a God-given responsibility to bless each other and come together as a diverse community and bless the broader community,” said Elder Christensen. “This is our way of doing that.”

“I think that the Silicon Slopes community is so passionate to give back because it’s really in the DNA of the people here in Utah to be givers,” said Eric Farr, executive officer of BrainStorm Inc., one of the technology companies associated with Silicon Slopes.

“Lots of people believe that hunger is just a problem outside of the U.S.,” said Marcy Loveless, a volunteer from Price, Utah. “What a lot of people don’t realize is … there’s a lot of hunger right here in our own backyard.”

In addition to volunteering during the annual Silicon Slopes Serves event, Loveless co-founded a nonprofit that accepts and delivers food donations to school-age youth in her community, to help make a local impact.

“I was talking to a friend who is also a school counselor, who was saying that there are a lot of kids going home on the weekends that are hungry,” Loveless added. “There’s a lot of worries in this world and being hungry should not be one of them. “

Equipped with hairnets, gloves and a desire to serve, during an 18-hour period, attendees are packing as many meals as possible, with food items like oatmeal and macaroni and cheese.

Lauri Weston from Murray, Utah, signed up as a volunteer through JustServe, an online platform that links volunteers with anyone in North America who wants to make a difference in their community.

“There were a few instructions, I clicked on it and now we’re here ready to serve,” said Weston.

“All of these meals go to local needs and will help everyone.”

“It’s about helping everyone find a way to bless their fellow man,” said Elder Christensen.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.