NORTH SALT LAKE – Those in need in south Davis County are sometimes difficult to locate.
Sometimes they have recently lost a job or had their income cut for some other reason. Sometimes, they only recently moved into the area, hoping to make a new start. Sometimes, they have had a disaster in their lives like a major medical expense or a fire in their home.
They usually live in regular neighborhoods. They may even live next door.
Many of those seeking help are embarrassed to ask, the manager of a North Salt Lake food pantry said.
Those who live in North Salt Lake, Woods Cross or West Bountiful may turn to the Center of Hope, 76 S. Orchard Drive, to find some relief.
The center is operated by the Daughters of Charity affiliated with St. Olaf Catholic Church. Sister Germaine Sarrazin, a member of the Ladies of Charity religious order, is the center’s manager.
The center includes an emergency food pantry that is open on the second Saturday of each month between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
“Our pantry is a stop-gap,” Sarrazin said.
Because it’s open only one Saturday each month, it can’t provide a month’s worth of food, like the Bountiful Community Food Pantry, she said. Because of its infrequent hours, Sarrazin keeps three or four boxes of food available at the Ladies of Charity home in Bountiful, so she can help those who telephone.
The center serves about 25-30 families each Saturday they are open. Clients need only show proof of residency, Sarrazin said.
Among those the center has served are a couple of large families, Sarrazin said. Even with two parents working, it’s often difficult for those families to make ends meet, she said.
The pantry also delivers food to those in need in the area of St. Patrick’s and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic churches in Salt Lake City, and delivers emergency food boxes to south Davis residents.
Families they deliver boxes to are also given a Christmas box containing a present each child has requested, “a turkey if we have it, or some other kind of meat,” and a family gift card, Sarrazin said.
With all of its projects, the center helps about 120 families monthly.
They often can provide for other needs as well.
Housewares such as blankets and sheets, pans and dinnerware are often available for free to those in need. Other items may run the gamut from diapers to toys to books and clothes.
“Whatever is donated,” Sarrazin said. The Daughters of Charity clean everything before it is put out.
“It just shows respect for the client,” Sarrazin said.
Donations can be plentiful or not, and furniture is rarely accepted,”but we have set up a household a couple of times,” Sarrazin said.
The center is still not very well-know among many south Davis residents. But it has regular donors in the area, including students at Orchard Elementary who hosted a “Hunger Is Scary,” food drive at Halloween. The drive filled a long table at the center two or three times and the students helped stock shelves after they brought the food in.
North Salt Lake City has been a great support, Sarrazin said. They provided an awning at the center’s previous location and notify residents of the Center’s operation in utility bill mailings.
One of the center’s major fundraisers is a barbecue hosted by St. Olaf Church’s Daughters of Charity. The event is held annually at the church close to the July 4 holiday. In addition to the food, a drawing is held. They also host a bake-sale the weekend before Thanksgiving for the center.
Donations of food, money and some household items are gratefully accepted. Those who can donate or who need help may call Sarrazin at 801-706-3101.
“People are so generous,” Sarrazin said.