Michelle Benedict, the Development Director at USANA, sat for an interview with Emily Clark of the Utah television station KUTV on January 28, 2021 to discuss the USANA Kids Eat program. Started in late 2019, the USANA Kids Eat program recruits volunteer teachers and school counselors to pass out bags of nutritious food to children struggling with food insecurity at home.
Asked by Clark how the children reacted when receiving food bags from USANA Kids Eat, Benedict replied that they seemed excited and relieved to know that someone cared. She described the children as resilient in the face of hunger, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other personal challenges. Benedict also noted that teachers, school counselors, and USANA employees received great satisfaction knowing they were giving kids the fuel they needed to learn, grow, and continue to overcome challenges.
USANA Kids Eat Shows Appreciation for Teachers
During her television interview, Benedict expressed appreciation for teachers on behalf of USANA for the enormous challenges they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. To show appreciation for their hard work and the dedication they show towards their students in a more tangible way, USANA organized Teacher Relief Month for the month of February 2021.The program shows support for approximately 1,500 teachers throughout the West Valley City, Utah region.
For the rest of the month of February, USANA will be giving teachers bags filled with products to help them relieve occasional stress. Examples of what teachers may find in their bags include stress resistance bands and balls, bottled water, essential oils, and other USANA nutrition and skincare products.
After Clark posed the question of how people in the community could help, Benedict responded that the USANA Kids Eat and Teacher Relief Month programs can always use monetary donations. Anyone interested in donating to these programs can find additional information regarding how to go about it by clicking the Donate Now button on the USANA Kids Eat website. All donated money goes directly to buying food for children.
Meet Dr. Myron Wentz, the Founder of USANA
Dr. Myron Wentz started USANA in 1992 in West Valley City, Utah. Years before he founded USANA, Dr. Wentz recognized the importance of people optimizing their nutrition at a cellular level to maintain long-term health. The recognition that cellular health is fundamental to optimize the body’s functioning prompted Dr. Wentz’s life mission of helping people around the world live healthy lives through scientifically backed nutrition.
Dr. Wentz pours much of his time and energy into fulfilling his life’s mission. As the leader of USANA, Dr. Wentz makes healthy living possible to people in numerous countries throughout the world. He does this by involving himself in advanced scientific research to create nutrition products that support a healthy diet. Dr. Wentz states that good nutrition is instrumental in allowing people to live healthy and rewarding lives. He and the employees of USANA are involved in extensive humanitarian work to bring help and hope to people in need of better nutrition.
What Types of Products Does USANA Create?
USANA has four distinct product lines to help customers achieve their health goals. These include USANA Nutritional Supplements, USANA Celavive Skincare Products, USANA Personal Care Products, and USANA Food and Energy Products.
USANA believes that people can take charge of their own health by making better choices and aims to make it easier for them to do that. For example, its nutritional supplements help to support everyday wellness along with a balanced diet. Food and energy products such as protein shakes and nutrition bars can help people meet their weight maintenance and fitness goals.
When people feel good, they look good. Skincare and personal care products by USANA help to round out a healthy lifestyle by bringing out each person’s natural beauty. Healthy-looking skin makes a big difference in appearance, and these USANA products support people with the goal of looking and feeling their best.
USANA Kids Eat is a Natural Offshoot of the Parent Company
Twenty percent of Utah kids live with food insecurity. They may not know when they will eat next because their parents struggle to afford the cost of food. Unfortunately, convenience and junk food are often a less expensive and quicker option than healthy food that growing bodies need. USANA Kids Eat finds the statistics on child hunger unacceptable and set out to do something about it.
The USANA Kids Eat program partners with organizations in the community to provide food for hungry children. The program also relies on help from volunteers throughout Utah to distribute nutritious food to families who need it.
One of the goals of USANA Kids Eat is to provide children with a stable food source to help every child reach his or her full potential. Kids who regularly eat nutritious food do better in school, sleep better, and have less anxiety. These outcomes mean that every child the USANA Kids Eat program helps has the power within themselves to achieve their dreams.
Backpacks Full of Food
Many families rely on free or reduced school lunch programs for their children to get the nutritious food they need during the school day. Summers, weekends, and school holidays were already a challenging time for more than 14,000 Utah families when it came to feeding their kids. The COVID-19 pandemic only multiplied those challenges with school closures at a time when children would normally have access to a nutritious lunch and even breakfast in some school districts. The USANA Kids Eat program came shortly before the first cases of COVID-19 appeared around the world.
To help address the growing challenge of childhood hunger in Utah, USANA Kids Eat staff and volunteers pack backpacks filled with non-perishable food easy for children or their caregivers to prepare. During its first year of operation in 2019, the USANA Kids Eat program delivered 8,817 backpacks to children in need. The organization serves children identified as at-risk for food insecurity at 65 schools and community organizations located along the Wasatch Front. From Herriman to Stansbury Park to Salt Lake City and Ogden, hungry children are receiving a stable food source to support their growth and development.
Volunteers Always Needed
In addition to financial donations, USANA Kids Eat could always use the help of more community volunteers. Volunteers may schedule a time to come to the USANA packing facility to help staff pack the backpacks full of food. The packing facility can accommodate individuals or groups, and those interested in volunteering can schedule a time to report to the packing facility at 2538 S. 3850 W. in West Valley City, Utah. Before requesting a time, volunteers should read and understand the precautions the facility has put in place to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
USANA Kids Eat also works with volunteers who wish to set up their own event if it involves packing 200 or more bags. Staff will work with volunteers to purchase food, host the event, and set up an efficient packing line. Someone will also stay onsite to help answer questions. Once packing is complete, USANA Kids Eat staff collects all bags and transports them to hungry children. Either volunteer opportunity is ideal for people looking to make a difference in their community.