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 first Regional Summit in Natrona County 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 Natrona County 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 Natrona County 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 inaugural event:
Renee Rodger, Alcova Community Church Food Pantry
Mark Smith, Helping Hands Community Services at Radius Church
Larry Baros, Salvation Army Casper Corps
Greta Hinderliter, Unaccompanied Students Initiative
Amy Allaire, Wyoming Rescue Mission
Sid Glanz, Wyoming Rescue Mission
Brian Bowen, Poverty Resistance
Susan Stranton, Wyoming Food for Thought Project
Tracy Padilla, Food Bank of Wyoming
Nicole Arner, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
Carolyn Eaton, Joshua's Storehouse
Ron Parmely, Joshua's Storehouse
LeeAnn Miller, Wyoming Food Coalition
All of the volunteers associated with the City Park Giving Table Food Pantry
We even took the opportunity to honor Dan's Meat Processing, one of our Casper Food from the Field processors, and presented them with the "annual cup" for 2020 for processing the most number of pounds of donated game. As we know, it takes everyone to be on board to fight food insecurity in Wyoming.
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 Natrona County. Together with sixteen different agencies, we identified challenges, brainstormed solutions, and developed a list of realistic action items.
The following anti-hunger organizations were involved with the first annual Wyoming Hunger Initiative Regional Summit in Natrona County.
Alcova Community Food Pantry
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
Casper Housing Authority
Cent$ible Nutrition Program
City Park Church
Dan's Meat Processing
Edible Prairie Project
Food Bank of Wyoming
Salvation Army, Casper Corps
Unaccompanied Students Initiative
Wyoming Food Coalition
Wyoming Food for Thought Project
Wyoming Rescue Mission
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 board members and regional directors traveled to be part of this first-time 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!