Brynn Carnesecca | Lehi Free Press
Over 33 million families experience food insecurity in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” According to the Utah Food Bank, over 410,000 people are food insecure in Utah alone.
In 2020, Ken Garff auto dealerships began the “We’re Hear For You” marketing campaign. During the global pandemic, the “We Hear You” effort temporarily supported local businesses, families and individuals with food donations. The program was so popular with employees that the temporary program continued and is now in its third year, with no end in sight.
“The ‘We’re Hear For You’ program is a way for our employees to be involved in service outside of work,” said Community Partnership and Events Manager Kate Terry. Today, this program has aided various non-profits such as Tabitha’s Way, Sub for Santa and The Ronald McDonald House.
On July 20, employees of the Lehi and surrounding Ken Garffdealerships, employees of Alpine School District and Thanksgiving Heroes volunteers gathered to pack and deliver 300 food kits for local food-insecure families. “We worked with Alpine School District and non-profits to nominate families who could use the food,” Terry explained.
Over 50 volunteers, decked out in red We’re Hear For You shirts, gathered at the Lehi Jaguar Land Rover dealership parking lot and got to work. Massive trucks filled to the brim with food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwich ingredients, macaroni and cheese and milk took over the parking lot. Volunteers worked quickly and efficiently to form an assembly line, making it easier to pack the bags.
Although the weather reached a sweltering 90 degrees, no one was complaining. “Our employees really enjoy getting out of their normal work schedule to do something bigger than themselves. It gives them a lot of perspective and reminds them to be grateful for what they do have,” Terry shared. “They appreciate working with their coworkers outside of the work setting. You never regret serving.”
Later that evening, the food was delivered to the 300 families and reached roughly 1,500 people to create “Thanksgiving in July.”
“We’re hoping this food gives the families a boost this summer,” Terry said. “We recognize that there are hard-working families all over that need a little support right now, and we are happy to do that. We hope the families feel seen, loved and appreciated.”
To support Thanksgiving Heroes, volunteer or donate at thanksgivingheroes.org and follow @thanksgivingheroes_slc on Instagram.