Grassroots group provides free food to needy

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CLEARFIELD, Utah -- On this Thanksgiving Eve, a group of volunteers with the organization Food Between Friends delivered some much needed fresh food to families in need in Clearfield.

The organization has been collecting food from the community for the past seven years and giving it out - for free - to families and people in the Clearfield and Syracuse areas who live in low-income housing.

Potatoes, carrots, fruits, and herbs were just some of the fresh food getting sorted Wednesday evening. More than a dozen volunteers with Food Between Friends gave of their time to deliver the fresh produce in time for Thanksgiving to some families that otherwise may not get to enjoy a meal on the holiday.

Food Between Friends Founder Patricia Erdman said they help a variety of people.

"There’s families that are struggling, people that lose their jobs, elderly, disabled, all kinds of families that need help, so the more we do it the more we find people out there that need it,” she said.

The organization gets most of their food donated from Smith's Food and Drug, U.S. Foods, and Kodiak Fresh Produce. The donated food tends to be items that are about to expire but are still safe to eat - that have not sold.

Erdman said it’s been a real grassroots effort that's growing.

"For the most part, we just try to listen to the community and go where they're telling us we need to go, where the need is, because the people know,” she said.

Volunteer Cheyenne Stafford has been working with Food Between Friends for the last three years.

"It's really cool,” she said. “Sometimes they answer the door and they're in tears and they don't know how they were getting their food for the next day to feed their families, and you're just like, 'Oh my gosh. This is happening right in my own backyard.'"

For the recipients, the generosity is so appreciated. Rachel Coates-Jarman is one recipient.

"It means a lot to us, for people who don't have too much, it means everything to us, it does,” she said.

The organization hopes to grow and get into the Ogden area. They are in constant need of donations. If you can donate or need their services, call them at (385) 244-0089, email at fbfutah@gmail.com, or find them on Facebook.