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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Utah Food Bank opens two pantries on Navajo Nation

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Thursday, March 7, 2024   

Utah Food Bank is expanding in San Juan County, and has announced the opening of two new pantries that will help support residents of the Navajo Nation.

President and CEO Ginette Bott said despite the food bank serving San Juan County for about 30 years, it had been a challenge to meet the level of need in the area.

She said the Navajo Nation is considered a food desert, with an average driving time to food resources taking up to several hours, one-way. The new pantries will help enhance food accessibility.

"While there are a couple of small pantries in the area of San Juan County in different locations, they still weren't big enough, or still couldn't be opened every single day," said Bott. "People here will have to drive to Cortez or to Moab, it's not like you can jump in your car and run a couple of blocks and grab a gallon of milk."

Bott said the Montezuma Creek Food Pantry should be open in the next few days, while the Monument Valley Food Pantry will need a bit more time to tie up some loose ends before opening.

San Juan County residents face significantly higher rates of hunger compared with the rest of the Beehive State.

Seventeen percent of residents report food insecurity, compared with 10% statewide, according to Utah Food Bank.

While the pantries will help in addressing food needs, Bott said they'll also help provide needed job opportunities that help ensure that the pantries' operating hours remain regular and reliable.

She noted it is important to make sure those being served feel seen and heard.

"We want to be sure that we are respectful of all things that are important to the folks that we are going to be serving," said Bott, "and we want people to realize we are not coming in here to make a change, we are only coming in here to enhance them and their lives."

In order to address the specific needs of those who live in the region, Bott added, the pantries have had to learn more about the Navajo diet and preferences, while also aiming to increase available fresh produce and help mitigate the impacts of prevalent health conditions such as diabetes through diet.



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