At the beginning of the holiday season you may have had great plans to collect a bag of canned food and donate it to a local pantry.
If you have procrastinated, there's still a way to help feed the hungry through the Utah Food Bank's Virtual Food Drive.
Last-minute donations of cash equal to the price of a can of tuna, a box of cereal or a weekend backpack for hungry children can be purchased easily at utahfoodbank.org/virtual-food.
"You can just sit at home in your pajamas and donate," said Ginette Bolt, Food Bank marketing officer.
She said the online donations actually make more of an impact than actual non-perishable food items, thanks to the food bank's purchasing power.
"A $1 donation can turn into $8 worth of goods and services," she said.
And no donation is too small. Buy a can of fruit for 42 cents, a box of cereal for $2, or simply give whatever cash you can spare.
Bolt said the Food Bank created its Virtual Food Drive with tech-savvy people in mind. "The next generation of givers enjoys technology, and they want things simple and fast," she said.
Online giving is a growing national trend. According to the 2012 Charitable Giving Report, published by the Blackbaud Idea Lab, online giving in 2012 grew 10.7 percent among the more than 2,500 nonprofit organizations large, medium and small that were analyzed.
The number is significant, considering overall giving increased only 1.7 percent in 2012, as the economy continued to recover.
"This was a positive sign for nonprofit organizations and continues to demonstrate the growth of the Internet as a giving channel," the report states.
October, November and December account for more than one-third of the year's overall giving, Blackbaud reported.
Rowland Hall's annual Christmas Dinner Giveaway
Volunteers at Rowland Hall School will distribute holiday food bags to families and individuals so they can prepare a traditional Christmas dinner. ID is required for all family members. For more information, contact Rowland Hall's director of service learning, Liz Paige, at 801-209-3191.
When • Monday, Dec. 23, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where • Rowland Hall-St. Mark's, 843 Lincoln St., Salt Lake City
Utah Building Trades' Giftbags for School
Utah Building Trades has adopted Redwood Elementary School. Throughout the year, it has tried to supply the school with paper and supplies for the teachers and make sure each child received a sack filled with special gifts. The Utah Labor Community Services is donating $2,500 to the school to help purchase shoes or coats.
When • Saturday, Dec. 28, 9-11 a.m.
Where • Union Labor Center, 2261 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City