‘It’s a wonderful thing’; Washington City approves mobile food pantry

WASHINGTON CITY — Starting April 25, the parking lot of the old Nisson grocery store on Telegraph Street will host one of the Utah Food Bank’s mobile pantries.

The Washington City Council approves a request from Linda Trujillo of the Utah Food Bank to begin mobile food pantry service in the city in the parking lot of the old Nisson grocery store on the last Thursday of each month, Washington City, Utah, April 10, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Washington City Council approved a request from the Utah Food Bank to provide the service set to begin April 25 and return the last Thursday of each month afterward.

“We’re glad to be able to have it, and we’re glad to have (the Utah Food Bank) in Washington City,” Mayor Ken Neilson said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

Some people may think poverty isn’t present in the area, but that certainly is not the case, Neilson said.

“There really is and there is a lot of need, and we do have a fair share of those in need in Washington City,” he said. “I’m glad (the mobile pantry) is coming.”

According to data from the Utah Food Bank, 1 in 5 children across Washington Iron, Kane, Beaver, Garfield and San Juan counties experience food insecurity, with 35,800 Southern Utahns overall facing the same concerns. In Washington County specifically, an estimated 14.3 percent of the population – 21,720 – face food insecurity.

Last year the Utah Food Bank distributed 2.8 million meals through its various partners to Southern Utahns in need.

The parking lot of the old Nisson grocery store at the corner of Telegraph and Main Street will become the site of mobile food pantry service starting April 25 and continuing the last Thursday of each month, Washington City, Utah, April 10, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

While many people are able to visit the traditional brick and mortar food distribution sites – such as the Switchpoint Community Recourse Center in St. George – not everyone is able to do that and are in need of services closer to home.

“We love to use this program where there may not be a typical brick and mortar facility,” said Linda Trujillo, Utah Food Bank area director.

“We recognized there were not any agencies that serve food in Washington City, so we wanted to bring that closer to the residents of Washington City,” she said.

The mobile food pantry will be the second of its kind in Washington City, as the Utah Food Bank already has one that visits Washington Elementary.

The mobile pantry that visits the school is one of nine within the Washington County School District visited by the Utah Food Bank, Trujillo said.

While the mobile pantry that visits the school exclusively serves the needs of students and their families, the new mobile pantry service will be open to anyone who qualifies.

We want people to be able to take advantage of this opportunity and thank Washington City for helping us in this endeavor,” Trujillo said.

The mobile good pantry will begin service in Washington City April 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old Nisson grocery store on the corner of Telegraph Street and Main Street.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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