The Christian Center of Park City is holding a food drive through Saturday, Sept. 29 at Zions First National Bank and Walmart, in both Park City and Heber, where people can drop off non-perishable products.

"We've actually gotten some decent stuff from them so far. It could be just individuals who shop at Walmart or random people who want to support the drive," said Rob Harter, Christian Center of Park City Executive Director.

Food can be dropped off all week long, but Saturday is the big event. The Christian Center will have their truck in front of Walmart in Park City, and their trailer at the Walmart in Heber from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to collect food.

Not only is Zions First National Bank supporting the food drive with large barrels already overflowing with donated food, they have also recently presented a $25,000 check to the Christian Center, which is a local representative of the Utah Food Bank.

"Typically we think $5,000 or $10,000 is a nice gift, but $25,000 is way over the top," Harter said. "It's huge to get that much from any one individual. We have needs greater than that, but it's incredible."

He added that those who can't support the drive this week are welcome to come by the Christian Center to drop off food or just check out the food pantry, where they distribute food to those in the community who need it.

Donations are accepted at the Christian Center all year long, Monday to Saturday from 10 a.


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m. to 5 p.m. Those interested in picking up food are welcome to come during the same hours.

With an ID residents from Park City and the surrounding communities can pick up two weeks worth of food twice a month. A small donation to the Christian Center is optional when picking food up.

Last year, the Christian Center distributed food to over 34,000 people. And the numbers are growing. Last month alone, they served about 3,000 people.

"I think a lot of people have the misnomer that it's a wealthy place and no one has need," Harter said. "But you would be amazed if you came around here and see there is so much need. It's an underground thing."

In the winter, the community gets an influx of international students and seasonal hotel and resort workers, which results in a spike of need at the food pantry. In the spring, there is another surge because the seasonal workers have lost their jobs and need food.

"But even in between spikes, the food need has remained high. We've seen very little drop off. It's just a steady stream for food," Harter said.

The Christian Center has also seen an increase in need among seniors on fixed incomes, and among residents in the surrounding areas, such as Coalville, Kamas and Heber.

Harter said the food drives are really beneficial because sometimes the Christian Center experiences dips in the amount of food donated by grocery stores so they have to supplement with more cans.

"The majority of the fresh food comes from grocery stores every day, and the food drives provide all the non-perishable food throughout the year," Harter said.