Mustangs lend a helping hand to feed local kids

The Wyoming Mustangs pose with Jenn Palmer, program coordinator for Blessings in a Backpack, in the organization's warehouse Wednesday, May 5.

It was a team effort.

Laughing freely between themselves, 15 members of the Wyoming Mustangs professional football team joked lightly with one another as they worked diligently to sort stacks of fruit pouches, graham crackers, macaroni and cheese, and other food items into plastic totes Wednesday morning.

Once filled, those totes were bound for distribution to Campbell County schools by Blessings in a Backpack, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that strives to feed students on weekends that would otherwise go hungry.

By late morning, the Mustangs were on track to have the totes filled and ready to go before noon, said Jenn Palmer, Blessings in a Backpack program coordinator for Gillette.

“It’s so awesome, it’s great,” Palmer smiled. “I’m so happy to have them here.”

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The physical presence of the Mustangs in the Blessings in a Backpack warehouse on First Street was only part of the help that the professional football team was there to give.

The other part? A $1,700 check from funds raised by raffling off a bicycle signed by the team during one of their most recent games, for which Palmer was extremely grateful.

It’ll cover a big chunk of the costs of feeding hungry kids in Campbell County, she said, adding that it costs around $2.84 a day to feed a student.

The team’s efforts filled well over 1,000 meals for Campbell County students.