Thousands of Utahns received food donations in major drive-thru giveaway

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Utah Food Bank does a big food giveaway at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Friday, April 24, 2020, as hundreds line up for drive-thru pick up.

The Utah Food Bank gave away 10 truckloads of food on Friday as hundreds lined up in their cars for a drive-thru pickup at the Maverik Center.

President and CEO Ginette Bott said midday on Friday that they had given food to about 2,500 families so far — and were about halfway through what products they had.

She said the food donation will help Utahns, especially those who have lost their jobs. So far more than 126,000 Utahns have filed for unemployment in the past five weeks, largely because of businesses forced to close by virus-related restrictions.

“We still don’t have a lot of direction,” she said of the effects of coronavirus-related closures. “Families hit hard by the service industry [closing] are going into another month with challenges.”

The food pickup was done as a drive-thru, Bott said, to keep with social distancing guidelines and limit the amount of physical interaction between volunteers and those who received food.

To donate to the food bank or to seek help, visit utahfoodbank.org.