Pallets of food from the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City are removed from a Deseret Transportation truck in Tohatchi, New Mexico, on Thursday, April 2, 2020. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent 240 additional truckloads of food to food banks all over the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In March, the church began sending an additional 15 trucks a week out of its Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City. Over 16 weeks, the church has dispatched 240 truckloads beyond its normal capacity, with each truck carrying enough food to feed 1,400 people for a week
SALT LAKE CITY — Over the past four months, while 50 million Americans filed new jobless claims, Deseret Transportation trucks have crisscrossed the United States carrying hundreds of thousands of pounds of food each week from Latter-day Saint storehouses to a vast array of organizations feeding the needy.
The far-flung effort to help America’s food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic is now the biggest humanitarian project in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its leaders said.
Beginning in mid-March, the church began to roll an additional 15 trucks a week out of its Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City. Over 16 weeks, the church has dispatched 240 truckloads beyond its normal capacity. Each truck carries 40,000 pounds of food, enough to feed 1,400 people for a week, according to Bishop Gérald Caussé, the Presiding Bishop of the church.
The trucks have rolled out of Utah to points up and down the eastern seaboard, from New Hampshire to Tennessee and Florida, and across the breadth of the country to Oregon, Washington and the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico, according to a review of dozens of news reports.
The food relief is a single part of a global effort by the church to provide relief during the pandemic. The church now has provided pandemic-related aid through more than 630 projects in over 130 countries, Bishop Caussé said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has now become the largest-ever humanitarian project of the church,” President Russell M. Nelson told the Church News. “Any way you want to measure it, this is now the largest.”
In April, as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spread across the United States and caused a significant portion of the economy to shut down and grocery stores donated less to food pantries because their own shelves were bare, the church donated $5.5 million to five major American relief organizations.
The food donations have helped keep the doors open at many food banks.
For example, the Meal Barrel Project Food Pantry in Sheffield, Kentucky, was in crisis in April because the pandemic had created twin pressures — donations were down and demand was up.
“These truck loads from the Church of Jesus Christ have been a tremendous blessing, and it will extend our business of operation for at least another quarter,” the pantry’s …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News