As the need for food donations has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also increased its efforts to provide that food for those in need.
The Church has canneries in Utah and Idaho to process fruit and vegetables grown on Church-owned farms. Once harvested and processed, the food is sent to the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City for national distribution.
Where there is not a bishops’ storehouse, local bishops are authorized to use fast offering funds at grocery stores to purchase goods and services for those who need assistance, according to Rick Long, welfare manager for the North America Northeast Area.
“The Lord blessed us this year with bounteous crops, and as a result, we’re able to distribute these products where they’re most needed,” Long said in a recent Newsroom report.
Matthew Cox, manager of agricultural production and storage for the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Services Department, has also observed a boost in production on the farms and a resulting surplus of food.
“We’ve seen an increase of what we’re trying to accomplish on the farms,” Cox told Newsroom. “We had plans of what we were going to do, and when the pandemic arrived we had to adjust all of our assignments … both to cover the additional storehouse needs, but also in our efforts to do what we can to help others outside of the Church.”
Read more about the increased food donations on Church Newsroom.