Farmers Feeding Utah partnered with Weber County law enforcement to hand out Thanksgiving meals to families in need for their Cops and Crops event on Nov. 24 at the Weber County Fairgrounds.
Cars of hungry families lined up to receive the needed food. Law enforcement officers loaded turkeys, gallons of milk and bags of onions, potatoes, eggs, cheese, butter, milk, stuffing, apples, squash and flour into the cars.
“It’s a great deal of gratitude that goes with the ability to serve those that stand in need,” Randy Watt Ogden Chief of Police said. “And to see all of these organizations come together during this holiday season kick-off now with Thanksgiving, and into the holiday season, to serve those who have this need is just extremely gratifying and we’re grateful to participate in this event.”
Prior to the event volunteers contacted the recently unemployed and those struggling with food insecurity with details about picking up the food. The Utah Farm Bureau Federation said they were looking at serving about 1,000 to 1,200 families that day.
The Farmers Feeding Utah campaign, started in 2020 and part of the Miracle of Agriculture Foundation, raises funds to then purchase food from local farmers, especially those who are currently struggling, and give it to families in need.
Matt Hargreaves, vice president of communications for the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, said that, prior to the event, Farmers Feeding Utah had so far raised about $600,000 and given out about 600,000 pounds of food to various spots throughout the state, including to the Ogden Salvation Army pantry after they were robbed in September. Cops and Crops was the sixth miracle project for the campaign.
The Miracle of Agriculture Foundation is a nonprofit that was launched in early May of this year by the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. The organization was formed in response to the needs of farmers and ranchers negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in response to the growing rates of unemployment throughout the community due to the pandemic.
As the Miracle of Agriculture Foundation website says, plants keep growing and animals keep eating, but closures of restaurants and other food chains, which make up over half of the intended destinations of agricultural production, made it difficult for farmers and ranchers to get their goods out and make money.
The Miracle of Agriculture Foundation provides a step up for both the agricultural community and the food-sensitive community by buying the food from struggling farmers and ranchers and then giving it out to families in need of food.
The Miracle of Agriculture Foundation also partners with other organizations such as Utah State University, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Farm Bureau Financial Services.