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We Tackled Hunger!

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

It all started with an idea.

These are Hunger Champions!

When Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming approached First Lady Jennie Gordon about partnering to bring awareness to the issue of food insecurity in Wyoming at the biggest playing field around, the answer was YES! The amount of food insecure children in Wyoming alone could fill War Memorial Stadium, and any opportunity to invite our neighbors to join the fight against hunger is a welcome one.

Everyone got to work brainstorming ideas about what tackling hunger might look like. The team at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming offered an amazingly generous proposal: how about a food drive to benefit Food Bank of Wyoming, with a $1 match per pound donated? Wyoming Hunger Initiative was founded on the principle of partnerships because we know that's how the most important work gets accomplished. We can't thank BCBSWY and the University of Wyoming enough for their willingness to work together as partners to shine a light on this too-often invisible issue. Their generosity and support of Wyoming Hunger Initiative knows no bounds. One goal (OK maybe two, winning the football game is also important!), one Wyoming. That is Wyoming Together. What a day it was!

Food Bank of Wyoming had its truck on the premises, ready for the food drive

Some of the Wyoming Hunger Initiative Board, from L-R: Kathryn Boswell, JoAnn True, Lynn Kirkbride, Susan Samuelson, Annemarie McCracken Picard, First Lady Jennie Gordon, Paty Gierau, and Ashlee Lundvall (Not pictured: Deb Wendtland, Alfrieda Gonzales, Diane Asay, and Laurie Box)

The Wyoming Hunger Initiative Board of Directors was on hand to help collect donations and serve as ambassadors to share the mission of the organization.

It doesn't get much more Wyoming than these two...

...or this one.

Food donation locations were set up in the fieldhouse and near Gate 6, and Wyoming fans showed up! There was a plan for anyone who might have forgotten to bring canned goods to the game—members of FFA were on hand selling cans as a fundraiser. A special thanks to Ridley's Family Markets for providing canned food for sale as well.

Loading up before the festivities began!

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful September day for a football game and a food drive. This particular September day was also Ag Day, a cause near and dear to First Lady Jennie Gordon and Governor Mark Gordon. Like agriculture, taking care of our neighbors in Wyoming is simply a way of life.

Go Pokes!

Game time! If you guessed the crowd was excited for the first football game of the year, you would be correct.

Pistol Pete showed off the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming sponsorship helmet right before BCBSWY President and CEO Diane Gore and the First Lady took the field for recognition of the Tackle Hunger campaign.

Diane Gore, Pistol Pete, and Jennie Gordon

The food drive—which also included donations made to BCBSWY Member Centers across the state through September 3—totaled enough to donate nearly 4,000 meals to Food Bank of Wyoming! When we come together we can do so much.

FFA volunteers getting ready to load all the collected food

At the end of the day, what started out as a little idea turned into a significant campaign to do something about a problem. The issue of hunger can be solved, but it takes innovative thinking to move the needle closer to sustainable solutions. When we come together with Wyoming solutions to Wyoming challenges, we can truly live by the motto of "Wyoming Together," and that is something to be proud of.

Oh, and Wyoming beat Montana State, 19-16. 🤠


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