A portion of May response funds was allocated to the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies to assist the group in supporting their mobile food pantries across the state.
First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative program this month allocated an additional $90,000 to support long-term infrastructure to support food pantries and anti-hunger groups across the state in response to COVID-19, according to a Wednesday release from the Office of First Lady Jennie Gordon.
The nearly $1 million in allocated funds to feed Wyoming families includes $50,000 for grants and $40,000 for food pantries with several state-wide organizations receiving grants and all 23 Wyoming counties receiving some form of COVID-19 response funding.
“The mission of Wyoming Hunger Initiative is to support the existing work of anti-hunger organizations across the state,” the First Lady said. “It’s important to us that we allocate resources where they will have the greatest impact, as quickly as possible.”
A portion of these May response funds will be allocated to the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies (WFBR) to assist the group in supporting their mobile food pantries, which target areas in Wyoming where the need is greatest, the release stated. The funding will also be used to support mobile food pantries in Sweetwater, Big Horn, Converse, Park, Platte and Hot Springs counties. For those counties not visited by mobile food pantries in May, including Campbell County, local nonprofits received funds to support food distribution efforts, either by a local food pantry or supporting organization.
One such local organization is the Edible Prairie Project (EPP), which provides healthy summer weekend meals and snacks to Campbell County kids in need.
EPP Co-owner and Co-executive Director Megan Taylor McManamen said Wednesday that this funding helped their nonprofit to purchase much-needed infrastructure support and long-term equipment including shelving and tables.
“Other donations and funding sources help us to cover the actual food we put in the weekend bags,” she said. “This support, specific to purchasing supplies and equipment, was so needed and appreciated.”
WFBR may also offer additional matching funds for partner organizations like the Campbell County Salvation Army Services Extension through WFBR, the release stated. However, those matching funds have yet to be confirmed for the month of May, Trista Ostrom, chief of staff to the First Lady of Wyoming, told County 17 during a phone conversation Wednesday.
Ostrom went on to say that all funds allocated in May were divvied up between counties based on population and need, adding that other local Campbell County organizations likewise received funding, including Gillette’s Blessings in a Backpack program, Wright Community Assistance, the local Salvation Army branch and Feed the Flock Food Pantry, a part of First Presbyterian Church.
Stay tuned to find out how local producers are stepping up to help feed Campbell County families in need in a follow-up story tomorrow, May 28, on County 17 by our own Intern Journalist Mo Engdahl.