ST. GEORGE – Hundreds filled the ballroom of the Dixie State University Student Activities Building Wednesday, and it’s part of a battle against hunger in the region.
The goal? Fifty thousand macaroni and cheese dinner packets. Close to 450 students and community members turned the ballroom into and assembly line, filling bags, knitting hats and creating cards. It’s an event organized by United Way Dixie as part of their Day of Caring.
“The number of homeless in our area seems to be climbing,” said United Way Dixie administrator Rebekah Pectol. “We have anywhere between about 1,400 homeless in our Washington County area.”
Pectol said they wanted to put together an event that would benefit area food pantries, while also bringing the community together. The dinner packets will be distributed to seven local food pantries. One of those is the newly formed Volunteer Center, which operates the first local, after-hours pantry.
“We haven’t recovered yet from the depression with the economy,” Volunteer Center Director Carol Hollowell said. “We still see many people who are homeless, who are under-employed. They just don’t have enough to make ends meet.”
That’s why Hollowell said events like the Day of Caring are so important in the fight against hunger, even though Pectol said in reality, that much food will likely only last a few months.
I hope it lasts a while,” Pectol said. “But with our numbers, it’ll probably go fast. We’re always in need of food down here. We’re always in need of food everywhere to help feed the hungry.”
For more information on volunteering with the Volunteer Center, contact information is on their website.
You can connect with the United Way Dixie through their Facebook page.