Moab Valley Multicultural Center staff. Pictured, left to right: Zoe Huston, Katie Minehart , Zaida Agreda, Liz Donkersloot , Bradia Holmes and Rhiana Medina. [Photo: Moab Valley Multicultural Center]

The Moab Valley Multicultural Center released a statement reviewing how the COVID-19 pandemic affected its services in 2020 and detailing plans for expanding its programming in the future.

According to the release, the MVMC food bank distributed ten times as many meals in 2020 as in any previous year, as Moab residents experienced joblessness and housing and food insecurity during the economic slowdown. Over $70,000 in financial assistance was distributed to community members affected by the pandemic.

The pandemic also directly affected the center’s crisis advocacy and interpretation & translation services, as families accessed rental assistance and support for physical and mental health needs. The center recently assisted the Southeast Utah Health Department to vaccinate over 100 community members who are either experiencing homelessness or have language barriers.

After a year that tested its limits, the nonprofit shows no sight of slowing and announced future youth camps in partnership with the Youth Garden Project, Museum of Moab and Canyonlands Field Institute.

Youth-centered services will also benefit from additional training acquired by Education Coordinator Bradia Holmes, who was recently trained to perform Student Oral Language Observation Matrix, or SOLOM, testing. The SOLOM rating scale helps assess the language proficiency of students who struggle in the classroom.

“I’m excited about SOLOM testing because it helps identify the source of students’ difficulties in the classroom: If a student learns easily but needs practice with English, traditional special education services may actually slow them down,” Holmes explained. “SOLOM allows educators to recognize dual-language learning as a strength, and to give students appropriate language interventions to help them succeed.”

To learn more about the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, you can visit their website at or contact them directly at 435-259-5444.