Our Mission

Mission & History – What We Do

UAH LOGO greenUtahns Against Hunger works to increase access to food through advocacy, outreach and education. Founded in 1979, UAH has been Utah’s only state-wide anti-hunger organization working on public policy and advocacy around federal nutrition programs. We work to expand the reach of nutrition programs to the estimated 1 in 8 households in Utah that struggle to afford enough food.

We are not an emergency food provider. Food pantries and charities make up only about 15% of all food assistance in our state. So instead, we work hard every day to shape public policy by educating and collaborating with the community and local policymakers, and to make nutrition programs work for the people who need them.

Utahns Against Hunger works tirelessly to strengthen nutrition programs in the state. This includes promoting federal nutrition programs by providing outreach for the summer food programs, strengthening school meals and heading the Utah Breakfast Expansion Team, managing the state’s Food Stamp Outreach Program in collaboration with the Department of Workforce Services, helping farmers markets receive Food Stamp benefits and bringing the Double Up Food Bucks program to Utah, and ensuring that safety-net programs such as WIC and Food Stamps are working.

We also grow community networks by helping to build the capacity of local charities and ensuring that people in need know where to go for help in their local communities, as well as through community partners and coalition membership, such as the Salt Lake City Food Policy Task Force (founding member), Action for Healthy Kids, the Family Investment Coalition, and Community Action Partnership of Utah. In addition, we raise the profile of hunger by working with media, community groups, educators, and religious organizations.

No one in Utah should suffer from hunger. Please join in supporting our work!

History

Since 1979, Utahns Against Hunger has been working to eliminate hunger in Utah.  Originally started as a project of Crossroads Urban Center, we were formed as the community recognized the need to improve access to federal nutrition programs state-wide. Utahns Against Hunger continues to stay true to its mission that it has followed for the last 38 years.

While some activities have changed – such as the organization has moved away from distributing food directly in low-income neighborhoods – we still work to increase and secure funding for those agencies on the state level.

UAH has always supported federal nutrition programs. For many years, UAH has worked with the Utah State Board of Education to conduct Summer Food Outreach. In 2014, UAH formed the Utah Breakfast Expansion Team with USU Extension, the Utah Dairy Council, and Utah Action for Healthy Kids, to improve school breakfast participation in Utah. UAH has also provided Food Stamp application assistance for many years, especially for those unable to complete applications independently. In 2015, UAH began managing the Food Stamp Outreach program for the Department of Workforce Services, which trains food pantries and community organizations to provide this assistance.. UAH also monitors the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act and the Farm Bill in Congress, to ensure that federal nutrition programs are protected.

Early in our history, Utahns Against Hunger recognized the role of agricultural policy on food prices and secured some of the first funding in the state for community gardens.  In 2012, we started a youth development urban farming program called Real Food Rising that teaches high school students job and life skills while empowering them to grow their own food and serve their community. In 2015, Real Food Rising moved to Utah Community Action Program in order to continue to expand.

In 2014, UAH gave mini-grants to six farmers markets who are now accepting food stamp farmers-market-masterbenefits at their markets.  In 2015, these efforts at farmers markets expanded when UAH facilitated the benefits matching program Double Up Food Bucks in Utah. The next year, UAH joined with Mayor Biskupski, SLCgreen, Real Food Rising, and the Green Urban Lunchbox to found the Urban Greens Market, a mobile farmers market on Salt Lake’s west side. UAH is also a founding member of the Salt Lake Food Policy Task Force and is engaged in helping the community connect the local food movement with the issues of access and affordability for low-income Utahns.

We continue our advocacy on both the state and federal level to ensure programs are accessible for all eligible households.
This video by LocalMotive Utah features Director Gina Cornia and former Associate Director Mike Evans talking about the mission of Utahns Against Hunger.

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