The Golden Celery Competition brings faith communities in the Salt Lake Valley into friendly competition to see who can raise the most pounds of food per attendee in their worship service during the month of July. The top donor congregation receives the coveted Golden Celery Trophy and everyone wins the satisfaction of helping those in need! According to Crossroads’ Golden Celery lore, several one-gallon cans of dehydrated celery were donated years ago. Due to the nature of our services the practicality of such a donation was lost on many of us. A good chuckle was had and then the creative juices started flowing. In 2008, our then-Community Outreach Coordinator had the idea of a friendly food drive competition between local churches. After modifying the celery cans into a “trophy” the Golden Celery Competition was born. This year, 2021, the Golden Celery Food Drive is more important than ever! Throughout the course of the pandemic, Crossroads Urban Center has been able to keep their doors open and continue serving food and other emergency services to the most vulnerable in our community. However, food donations decrease during the summer months and this summer competition for the past 13 years helps to keep the food stocked in the pantry for those in need.
After a month of collecting food and generous cash donations, members of First United Methodist Church and Centenary United Methodist Church, both of Salt Lake City UT gathered at our local Costco to purchase food. We were split up into teams and proceeded with our carts throughout the store to pick up an assortment of needed bulk foods including canned vegetables, fruits, meats, snacks, drinks and even a whole lot of diapers.
We unloaded the needed items into a bunch of trucks, vans and cars. And then caravanned over to Crossroads Urban Center to unload and weigh the food.
This year, our two churches donated 4,811 pounds of food to Crossroads Urban Center for the Golden Celery Challenge and we won the trophy! The total for all of the churches that participated was 19,470 lbs. Thank you to everyone who donated and shopped. We know that this food will go to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and community in SLC.
During Worship Services on Sept 5, Jessica Roadman, Community Outreach Coordinator with Crossroads Urban Center, presents the 2021 Golden Celery Trophy to Pastor AJ and FUMC Crossroads Coordinators, Scott & Jessica Patton.