SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- To combat child hunger in Utah, on Dec. 19 USANA Health Sciences, a global health and wellness leader, will open Utah's newest food-packing facility. Its goal is to fill and deliver 1,000 backpacks each week to hungry children.
"Having acquired Kids Eat Utah and Kids Next Door this past summer, USANA has joined them with our charity, the USANA Foundation, and built a new facility to provide more food to Utah kids who face daily hunger," said USANA CEO Kevin Guest.
One in five Utah children goes home to insufficient or no food every day, a fact that has caught the attention of Dr. Mehmet Oz of The Dr. Oz Show.
Oz, who is visiting Salt Lake City to help officially open the new facility, invites the public to come help pack backpacks for kids.
"I am honored to be a part of something that will help so many lives each day," Oz said. "Join me as we open the brand new USANA Kids Eat facility so we can get more food in backpacks to give to kids because no child should ever go hungry."
In Salt Lake Valley, 56,000 children qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
"With each backpack containing seven meals, we are filling and distributing 800 backpacks each week," said Brian Paul, USANA Foundation president. "For long holiday breaks, we fill over 3,000 extended-break food kits so kids will have enough food. We welcome the public's help to reach the goal of filling and distributing 1,000 backpacks per week, which will total 300,000 meals for hungry kids in our community in 2020."
The public is invited to the 11 a.m. ribbon cutting on December 19 with Dr. Oz, USANA leaders, and community dignitaries. The new facility is located at 2538 South, 3850 West in West Valley City.
USANA's investment includes designing a food-packing facility, operating a food storage warehouse, employing an administrative team, providing a delivery truck, and maintaining the usanakidseat.org website to allow the community to sign up to volunteer at the facility.
Since 2012, the USANA Foundation, a charitable arm established to ensure impoverished children and families reach their fullest potential by providing food and nutrition, has donated more than $10 million in 26 countries around the world to provide more than 40 million meals.
"We are very grateful we can expand operations at our world headquarters to help Utah children get the food they need," said Guest.
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About Kids Eat
Kids Eat Utah was a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2014 by Lynda Brown. Led by Brown and Geoff Partain, it served Murray and Jordan school districts, along with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Neighborhood House, Sandy Club for Kids, and DDI Head Start. Kids Eat provided hundreds of bags of food each weekend to help provide meals to kids who would have otherwise gone hungry.
About Kids Next Door
Founded in 2010 by Michelle Benedict, the Kids Next Door charity supported hundreds of families throughout the Wasatch Front and provided over 3,000 large pantry bags of food to feed kids over long holiday breaks in Davis, Salt Lake, and Granite school districts.
Media Contact: Brian Paul
President – USANA Foundation