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Central Utah Food Sharing

September 25, 2013

Utah – Friday, September 13

Today’s donation was going to go to the Richfield Food Pantry, which is a hub for the Central Utah Food Sharing program. I had looked for the food pantries in Delta and Fillmore yesterday, and I couldn’t find the one in Delta, and the one in Fillmore didn’t look as though it had been open recently. But when I drove up to the Richfield food pantry, I found one of the volunteers getting ready for an extra distribution of some produce. I asked if a financial donation or a food donation would be preferable, and although he said it was really up to me, it sounded like they’re able to purchase food at wholesale prices at one of the other bigger food banks, so I just made a financial donation. The volunteer who I met was in the process of rotating the stock in the walk-in cooler, so that people are sure to use the things that expire earliest first. It sounds as though this is a weekly task, so things don’t get lost in the shuffle, then wasted, just because they were forgotten about in the backs of the coolers or shelves. Juvenile delinquents are sometimes also sentenced to fulfill some community service hours by helping with the moving and sorting – the local judge thinks it’s a useful place for the kids to think about people other than themselves. The food pantry was going to be open in a couple hours, and after rotating the stock he was going to start getting some of the food boxes ready. It sounds like banana boxes are the ideal size for sorting out groceries for families – there were stacks of them waiting to be filled. This food pantry also delivers food to families who are unable to come to them – they call their delivery truck Bob T. And on Fridays, there is an extra giveaway of food that Wal-Mart brings over. They used to just set the extra food out on tables, but that quickly got unruly, so the folks needing a little extra have to go through a more orderly process now.

When I was done at the food pantry, Tula and I did a little walking in the town of Richfield, then we headed north to the town of Salina, where I covered another mile and a half. I enjoy walking through some of these sleepy little towns – Salina had a lot of old storefronts and wide streets, and apparently enough business to keep the town alive. As I was driving out of town, I passed the biggest donkey farm I’ve ever seen – there had to be at least a hundred donkeys out in a huge pasture. I got out of the car to take some pictures and some of them started wandering over to the fence where I was standing. There was a cute little black baby donkey who seemed almost as big as its mom. One of them started braying, and then a few more joined in – what a racket!

From there I drove on to Centerfield for a bit more walking in the town park, and past some really old storefronts – a combination post office/gift shop, and an old style grocery store. I’m not sure if either are still in business – there wasn’t much activity in town on a Friday afternoon. From there I headed toward the town of Manti, and an enormous Mormon temple dominated the skyline from miles away. Manti was a fun town to walk in – I walked around the temple and its landscaped green grounds – the temple sits high on a hill, and just towers over everything. And the main street in town was interesting and I walked out into some neighborhoods too.

The skies had been kind of gray all day, and it started to rain as I continued to drive north. Mostly I seem to be driving in desert country, with a lot of red rock hills. The next town I stopped in was Mt. Pleasant, and by the then the rain had temporarily let up so Tula and I got out for more walking. Then it started up again, so I put her back in the van, and got my umbrella and simply continued on. I saw another rainbow – I’ve seen quite a few of them on my journey. I like how a lot of these small towns have old advertising signs or murals on the sides of some of the buildings. It was a Friday night, and there was a football game in town – I saw lots of people dressed in the same colors, and some had their faces painted, and there was a festive air in town. I think it might have been their homecoming game. There was an ice cream shop on the corner, so when I was done walking, I got some ice cream, and then got back in the van to drive north to Midvale, a southern suburb of Salt Lake City, where I stopped for the night.

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