OGDEN — Catholic Community Services Northern Utah Office began 30 years ago, when it was known as the Ogden Field Office and located on Porter Street by Saint Joseph Church.
"We had a string of offices, all off the beaten path that weren’t easy to find," said Matt Minkovich, CCS Northern Utah director from 1992 to 1997. "We had just been awarded $10,000 through the Homeless Trust Fund, now known as the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund, that enabled us to integrate into the community with the emergency homeless prevention rental assistance program for people who were in the process of being evicted and forced into shelters. With those funds, we also helped individuals or families move out of shelters and into transitional housing."
At the time, Yvonne Coiner was a volunteer, but then was hired as the case manager.
"That tiny little office did so many big things," said Coiner, now St. Benedict’s Foundation executive director. "Weber County Senior Services would bring the seniors over once a month to get USDA commodities and other donations like baked goods. The program kept growing and in 1993, the Hopkins School became available. We used it as a warehouse. The building didn’t have any running water or restrooms, and it was cold in the winter and hot in the summer. But the Hopkins School was valuable to us because we could have the Utah Food Bank deliver food to us and we started serving families as well as seniors."
The Hopkins School became the Northern Utah Food Cooperative. CCS also began making home deliveries to the elderly and homebound.
In 1994, under Minkovich’s direction, CCS of Northern Utah purchased the Family Support Center on 23rd Street. That became the Northern Utah CCS offices, with the warehouse still at the Hopkins School.
"The food pantry went from serving 100 senior citizens to 250, and within a couple of years it increased to 1,500 seniors," said Minkovich.
The program expanded into Davis, Box Elder and Morgan counties. Coiner served as director from 1997 to 1999; and the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank was dedicated on April 20, 2004.
CCS Northern Utah Food Bank continues to grow; in the last three years it has gone from serving 1,200 households to 2,000 every month.
"Over 100 families come for food every day," said Marcie Valdez, CCS Northern Utah director.