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(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Great Salt Lake Minerals Corp. employee volunteers repackage potatoes to feed the needy in 2012. The Salt Lake Community Action Program is reducing days of operation at three of its five food pantries.
Some area food pantries trimming days of operation
Charity » Funding squeeze creates need to “do more with less,” coordinator says.
First Published Aug 19 2013 04:06 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:32 pm

Effective immediately, three of the Salt Lake Community Action Program’s five food pantries will open their doors fewer days each week.

In March, the nonprofit organization had to shut down its Murray site due to federal sequestration cuts. While demand for emergency food continues to run high, Monday’s trims come from the need to "do more with less," said Mary Richardson, SLCAP’s food pantry coordinator.

At a glance

Food pantries, hours open

*Salt Lake City » 1300 W. 300 North; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*Magna » 3441 S. 8400 West; Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*Midvale Recreation Center » 8446 S. 270 West; Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Redwood Recreation Center » 3060 S. Lester St., West Valley City; Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tooele County » 7 S. Park St., Grantsville; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m.

*Reduced days of operation

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The Northwest location at 1300 W. 300 North in Salt Lake City will pare service to Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., eliminating Monday and Wednesday hours.

The Magna pantry at 3441 S. 8400 West also will reduce to three days, opening Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..

The South County location inside the Midvale Recreation Center at 8446 S. 270 West will close Fridays, operating Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The busiest site, inside the Redwood Recreation Center at 3060 S. Lester St. in West Valley City, will be unaffected, serving clients Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tooele County’s pantry at 7 S. Park St. in Grantsville will continue to open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m.

According to SLCAP Executive Director Cathy Hoskins, the five pantries have each functioned with only one full-time worker supplemented by spotty volunteer labor. Most volunteers come through the courts to work off community-service hours, while some are fulfilling requirements to qualify for the Department of Workforce Service’s food-stamp program.

By cutting days at three locations, SLCAP can place two full-time staffers at each site, Hoskins said, and allow volunteer help to shift to Northwest and Magna on their open days.

"It’s a stopgap measure to adjust to increased usage of the pantries as well as the cuts we’ve taken," Hoskins said.

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United Way support and federal funding from community development block grants keep the program afloat, Hoskins said.

Last year, SLCAP’s pantries distributed more than 7 million pounds of food from the Utah Food Bank. Each of the five sites serves about 100 clients per day on average, Richardson said.

"Some have had to turn people away due to lack of help," Richardson said, "and the less help we have, the longer people have to wait."

Pantry clients can tap the emergency resource only once per month, Richardson added, but under dire circumstances can request a second order.

"We wish we had the resources to hire more people," Richardson said, "but this is the best we can do, given what we have."


Twitter: @catmck

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