As need for donations in summer grows and supply wanes, Tabitha’s Way on the run for toilet paper

July 7, 2018

There is a 10K challenge that is happening in Utah County, but no running is involved. Rather, this challenge is all about toilet paper. Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry in American Fork is holding its first ever Toilet Paper 10K Challenge during the month of July.

Any group or individual of any age can participate in the challenge. The objective is to gather enough toilet paper donations between July 1 and July 31 to equal a 10K race, which is 32,736 feet of toilet paper, or approximately 300 rolls.

The main focus for Tabitha’s Way is food donations, but there are other important items residents need on a daily basis as well.

“We tend to run short of toilet paper and hygiene items like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene,” said Tori Bahoravitch, food drive coordinator.

Tabitha’s Way in American Fork is providing food assistance to about 2,700 people per month, according to Mike Carter, co-founder. Combined with Tabitha’s Way in Spanish Fork, food assistance is provided to about 6,000 people per month.

“The summer months come with an increased need for food and other supplies because there are so many children who are home and do not have food. At the same time, the summer months are not very good for donations. People are very busy, so for many, hunger is just not something they think about in the summer months,” Carter said. “That is why we are doing this toilet paper challenge.”

Other items that are needed include boxed meals, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, diapers size 4-6, cooking oil, feminine products, canned corn, dry rice and beans and canned meats.

“Ironically, the time we need food the most is when people think about making donations the least,” he said.

“There are thousands of children in Utah County who rely heavily on the federal free breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. Parents of these children do not look forward to summer, because they do not have the money to feed their children in the summer months,” Carter said.

Tabitha’s Way has provided vouchers to the Alpine and Nebo School Districts for low-income families to come into the pantry and receive food throughout the summer to help their children. The Utah Food Bank is also providing mobile feeding sites throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties to address this need.

“We also have a need for increased volunteers in the summer, particularly in our Tabitha’s Way Spanish Fork pantry. Many of our volunteers have children at home and are not able to volunteer in the summer. We can use more help with volunteers in the summer months, as well as year-round,” Carter said.

To register for the Toilet Paper 10K Challenge, participants should email names or group names and phone numbers to servicegroups@tabithasway.org. Type “TP 10K” in the subject line. Those successfully completing the challenge will receive a certificate, their names posted in the pantry and recognition on Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry North County Facebook and Instagram pages.

Participants must count their own toilet paper footage and report it when they bring their donations to the pantry. Donations must be dropped off at Tabitha’s Way in American Fork, at 920 E. State Rd., Suite, by 5 p.m. on July 31.

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