ENOCH — Partnering with local volunteers in a “Miracle Project,” farmers throughout the state of Utah worked together to provide food for those suffering from recent flood damage in Enoch.
The Miracle of Agriculture Foundation’s Farmers Feeding Utah campaign held the project on Wednesday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 451 East Midvalley Road in Enoch.
Citizens remained in their cars in the parking lot while volunteers loaded them up with donated food products.
“It went really well. We were able to give away all of our food,” said Matt Hargreaves, vice president of communications for the Utah Farm Bureau. “We provided food for 500 families and individuals.”
The event was created to respond to the challenges faced by families and residents in Enoch caused by recent flooding and disastrous storms.
“We were able to get food to people who needed it immediately,” Hargreaves said, noting that no one was turned away and citizens from the surrounding area were also served.
“Folks who live in Cedar City experienced food insecurity after the recent storms as well,” Hargreaves said. “It was a really special feeling to be able to say, ‘Hello,’ and have the ability to connect the farmers who grow the food to consumers and families who really need it.”
Farmers Feeding Utah is a campaign of the Miracle of Agriculture Foundation, a nonprofit organization that was set up as the charitable arm of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. Donations to the project are used to purchase, process and deliver food to families in need, giving both Utah families and farmers a hand up.
The group held a similar event in St. George in January to help people in need during the pandemic.
Hargreaves said one of the great features of the program is it brings farm-raised, seasonal, fresh and healthy food to hungry families.
“We were able to give really quality food,” Hargreaves said. “Fresh beef, pork, sweet corn, milk, cheese, tomatoes and squash. Really quality, nutritious food.”
Hargreaves added that the peaches distributed in Enoch were grown in Washington County.
Volunteers helping out included Iron County Commissioner Marilyn Wood, Scott Stubbs from the Iron County Food Bureau and Future Farmers of America students from Canyon View High School.
Stubbs told Cedar City News that it was gratifying to be able to help those in need.
“Those people have been hit so hard with the flooding that it was nice to do a little bit for them,” Stubbs said. ‘It was not enough but every little bit helps. I had a farmer tell me that people had tears in their eyes. It makes you feel good when it’s needed and appreciated like that.”
Logistical and in-kind support came from a long list of partners that included Utah State University and its Hunger Solutions Institute and Create Better Health program, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, the LDS Church and Farm Bureau Financial Services.
Additional donations and contributions for the project in Iron County were made from Smithfield Foods, Intermountain Farmers Association, Merril Financial, Cal-Maine Foods of Delta and DairyWest.
To date, the Farmers Feeding Utah campaign has provided approximately 1.5 million pounds of food, with a retail value of more than $3.4 million to more than 35,000 Utah residents.
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