Gillette Hunger Awareness Week Tackles Food Vulnerabilities Facing Community
Gillette College’s (GC) Honor Society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) wrapped up the city’s first Gillette Hunger Awareness Week this past Saturday with a Chopped-style event, patterned after The Food Network television show, at Gillette College. The week-long PTK Honors in Action project centered around identifying various hunger-related issues facing the community and the degree to which food vulnerabilities impact local individuals and families.
After PTK submitted a proposal for hunger week, Mayor Louise Carter-King formally declared the week of Nov. 11 Gillette Hunger Awareness Week at the Nov. 5 Gillette City Council meeting as means to encourage the community to support local organizations in the fight against hunger.
Members of PTK, including Emily Dillon, TasIrie Elliott, Caembrea Kline, Maraia Rubin, and Tasha Walker, and PTK advisors Miranda Miller and Kristin Young, partnered with local organizations such as Thank Heaven for Kids, Blessings in a Backpack, Edible Prairie Project, Gillette’s Free Little Pantry Project, Hope Cupboard, the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies, and the Wyoming Hunger Initiative, to assess hunger issues across varying groups to gain a better understanding of why and where these vulnerabilities exist as well as access the solutions that work best.
Overall, it was an eye-opening experience for PTK member Tasha Walker and others in her group.
“We are hoping the community will rally around our local organizations to help decrease the hunger in Gillette and in Campbell County,” Walker said. “Too many people are not consuming enough nutrients to maintain their health.”
The week wrapped up with a Chopped-style competition in which three teams from Campbell County School District (CCSD) Nutrition Services, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Prince of Peace (POP) Lutheran Church competed against one another using a basket of items, including a brown sugar pop tart, pretzels, pre-cooked minute rice, a can of black beans, and a can of corn, to create a dish using only hotplates, crockpots, skillets, and toaster ovens for the competition.
“The event went great!” GC PTK Advisor Kristin Young said. “Attendees learned about the concept of food banking and all the different nonprofits in our community and how they fight hunger.”
CCSD Nutrition and POP tied for the win with CCSD presenting a fiesta bowl with a Mexican donut while POP served frittatas with cinnamon apple crumble.