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Let's Be "All In" in the Fight Against Food Insecurity in Wyoming

Updated: Jan 17

Wyoming Hunger Initiative was launched in 2019 with two tenants in mind: one, to never reinvent the wheel and two, to be in all twenty-three Wyoming counties. There are grassroots efforts in every Wyoming county dedicated to reducing hunger and combating food insecurity. Instead, Wyoming Hunger Initiative aims to increase awareness and support for the work of local anti-hunger organizations statewide.

Through the relationships that have been developed across the state specific to food insecurity, Wyoming Hunger Initiative has identified partners in every community. Thanks to a grant from the Hughes Charitable Foundation, Wyoming Hunger Initiative was able to host its third Regional Summit in southeast Wyoming earlier this month to bring folks together who are working in this space.

The result? A whole lot of networking, sharing of resources, and collaboration that will lead northeast Wyoming forward together while also producing realistic action items that are already underway.

The event kicked off with a volunteer recognition celebration where anti-hunger organizations in southeast Wyoming nominated a volunteer from their organization to be recognized. Without the countless volunteers across the county, this work wouldn't be possible.

The following volunteers were recognized at this event:

  • Marisa Beahm, Unaccompanied Students Initiative, Cheyenne

  • David Breeden, WYO HELP, Torrington

  • Jay Butler, Douglas Boys & Girls Club, Douglas

  • Barbara Clark, WYO HELP, Rawlins

  • D"Ann Dickinson, LCCC Food Pantry, Cheyenne

  • Renee Fowler, Element Church Food Pantry, Cheyenne

  • Patrick Graham, Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne, Cheyenne

  • Diane Griffith, Guernsey Community Food Pantry, Guernsey

  • Sam Harshberger, Laramie Interfaith, Laramie

  • Raymond Marquardt, True Vine Community Church, Cheyenne

  • Judith Medina, Family Promise of Cheyenne

  • Debbie Moberg, Veterans' Rock, Cheyenne

  • Jerry Schutt, Niobrara Senior Center, Lusk

  • Patricia Simpson, Laramie County Senior Activity Center, Cheyenne

  • Tyler Spear, Laramie Soup Kitchen, Laramie

  • Rodney and Mary Jane Vyff, St. Joseph's Food Pantry, Cheyenne

  • Ron Weickum, Friday Food Bag Foundation, Cheyenne

  • Ashley Wiese-Elsom, Needs, Inc., Cheyenne

  • Wyoming Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

In addition to our volunteers, we have a wonderful network of folks who support Wyoming Hunger Initiative throughout the year. Beef for Backpacks launched in 2023 to support weekend food bag programs with so many people coming together to make the program possible. A key element of the program is the donation of beef and thus we honored the beef donors from the southeast region during the dinner as well. The following donors were recognized for their contribution to Beef for Backpacks:

  • Child Land and Livestock, LLC; Mark and Debie Child

  • Harding Ranch; Kiel and Kristin Harding

  • King Ranch Company; James and Kendall Roberts

  • Pronghorn Ranch; Jay and Linda Butler

  • Tyrrell Chevrolet; Brian, Peaches, and Dallas Tyrrell

The next day we got down to business by taking a hard look at what we can do to improve and expand resources for anti-hunger organizations in southeast Wyoming. Together with twenty-five different agencies, we identified challenges, brainstormed solutions, and developed a list of realistic action items.

The following anti-hunger organizations were involved with the third Wyoming Hunger Initiative Regional Summit in southeast Wyoming.

  • Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne

  • Cent$ible Nutrition Program 

  • Douglas Boys & Girls Club

  • Element Church Food Pantry

  • Family Promise of Cheyenne

  • Feeding Laramie Valley

  • Food Bank of Wyoming

  • Friday Food Bag Foundation

  • Laramie Connections

  • Laramie County Senior Activity Center

  • Laramie Interfaith

  • Laramie Soup Kitchen

  • LCCC Food Pantry

  • Little White Pantry

  • Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne

  • Needs, Inc.

  • Niobrara Senior Center

  • St. Joseph's Food Pantry

  • True Vince Community Church

  • Unaccompanied Students Initiative

  • University of Wyoming Veterans Services Center

  • Veterans' Rock


  • Wyoming Department of Education

  • Wyoming 211

It is safe to say that this group is "all in" when it comes to fighting food insecurity in Wyoming. We look forward to the continued collaboration and the work that will take place in the coming year thanks to the passion and commitment of these organizations.

Lastly, Wyoming Hunger Initiative team members and regional directors traveled to be part of this event. The passion that you see here is what drives the work that Wyoming Hunger Initiative has done and continues to do. Thank you for joining us!

Photo credit: Janelle Rose Photography


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