Volunteers step up to help fill, deliver 170 boxes of food to families of Iron County students in need

CEDAR CITY — Some 170 boxes of donated food were delivered on Monday to the families of students in need throughout Iron County.

Volunteers help fill food boxes at Iron County Board of Realtors offices, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 16, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Tracy Womack, Iron County School District’s homeless liaison, said she, along with the help of her family, put together 80 boxes of food last month and delivered them just before Thanksgiving.

Womack said the initial plan was to distribute 80 more boxes for Christmas, but the Iron County Board of Realtors stepped up to assist, providing both money and manpower to help them boost the total to more than double the original goal.

Mary Ann Sharp, CEO of Iron County Board of Realtors, along with more than a dozen other board members, helped obtain the food, divide it up and place it into the boxes. 

“Smith’s was wonderful,” Sharp told Cedar City News as she and the other volunteers placed various packaged food items into larger cardboard containers. “They gave us the food at their cost, and some items were even below cost. They also gave us 36 extra bags with food in them.”

Additional items came from Utah Food Bank and from Iron County School District’s own small food pantry, Sharp added.

The offices of the Board of Realtors were bustling with activity last Friday morning, as more than a dozen volunteers started filling the boxes, and again on Monday when perishable items such as hot dogs, lunch meat and butter were added.

Iron County Board of Realtors CEO Mary Ann Sharp brings in perishable items to be placed into food boxes, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 19, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

When all the boxes had been topped with food, volunteers loaded them into their personal trucks, vans and other vehicles and helped distribute them to the various schools throughout Iron County.

Womack said food boxes were taken to every school within the district. 

“Some got a few and some got a lot,” she said, noting that principals, teachers and counselors had helped identify and select the recipient families.

After the food was delivered to each school’s front office, the chosen parents or guardians were notified to come and pick up the boxes, each of which contained approximately 30 pounds of food.

“A lot of these families are on food stamps, which run out at the end of the month,” Womack noted, adding that having all the children at home during the holiday break makes things even tighter since the kids won’t be eating lunch or breakfast at school.

“Times are tough. Hopefully, this will help them get through the two weeks that we’re off,” Womack added.

Sharp said she and her fellow colleagues on the Board of Realtors were more than happy to help.

“What a great experience for our Board of Realtors to be able to donate our money and time to these families,” Sharp said, adding that the board members had also gone shopping with Toys for Tots the previous week, filling approximately 10 shopping carts with toys and other items purchased as gifts for local children.

Womack also expressed her appreciation for the Realtors, saying, “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Iron County School District’s holiday break starts this week, right after school lets out on Wednesday, with school resuming on Jan. 4.

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