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Utah Food Bank
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Utah Food Bank says COVID-19 has scared away volunteers

The Utah Food Bank says concerns over the transmission of COVID-19 have depleted their volunteers! Image credit, Utah Food Bank)

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah – The Utah Food Bank says it is in desperate need of volunteers, as church groups and companies are canceling due to fear of COVID-19.

President and CEO Ginette Bott said they lost 150 volunteers Thursday because COVID-19 is scaring them away.

“So many of the [organizations] that come to help us: youth groups in large numbers, corporate teams who were coming with multiple employees…A lot of those activities through businesses and religious entities have been canceled,” Bott says.

But Bott says volunteering at the Utah Food Bank is safe.

“We’re doing the things everyone is being asked to do: the handwashing, we’re doing the hand sanitizer as well. We’re giving gloves to all of our volunteers,” Bott said.

She also worries about the increasing need at the food bank. The people they serve want to stock up in case COVID-19 becomes more serious.

Bott says it’s similar to the panic buying people have been doing at the grocery stores.

“Same thing is going to be happening at pantries. People are going to be coming to those entities asking for more product, asking for enough for an extended period of time,” Bott says.

And the Utah Food Bank supplies many smaller pantries.

People who want to volunteer can show up to the Utah Food Bank at any time during normal business hours.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus 

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading: 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Don’t touch your face. 
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet) 
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.) 
  • Get a flu shot. 

Resources for more information:  

LOCAL: 

State of Utah:  https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 

National Links 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States