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 second Regional Summit in northeast Wyoming earlier this fall 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.
We kicked off the event by getting down to business taking a hard look at what we can do to improve and expand resources for anti-hunger organizations in northeast Wyoming. Together, with fourteen different agencies, we identified challenges, brainstormed solutions, and developed a list of realistic action items.
The following anti-hunger organizations were involved with the second Wyoming Hunger Initiative Regional Summit in northeast Wyoming.
Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County, Gillette
Blessings in a Backpack, Gillette
Bread of Life Food Pantry, Buffalo
Council of Community Services, Gillette
Crook County Council of Community Services, Sundance
Edible Prairie Project, Gillette
Food Bank of Wyoming
Salvation Army, Gillette
Johnson County Friends Feeding Friends, Buffalo
Lunch Together Soup Kitchen, Sheridan
Salvation Army, Sheridan
The Food Group, LLC, Sheridan
Wright Community Assistance, Wright
To conclude the day, the volunteer recognition celebration took place where anti-hunger organizations in northeast Wyoming nominated a volunteer from their organization to be recognized. Without the countless volunteers across the region, this work wouldn't be possible.
The following volunteers were recognized at this event:
Chris Anthes, Council of Community Services, Gillette
Kari Bergeman, Edible Prairie Project, Gillette
Rick Brus, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Buffalo
Ken Ferguson, Blessings in a Backpack, Gillette
Jennifer Heermann, The Food Group, Inc., Sheridan
Margie Ketterling, Gillette Salvation Army, Gillette
Sharon Miller, Johnson County Friends Feeding Friends, Buffalo
Jeanette Ray, Upton Food Bank, Upton
Danny Smith, Gillette Salvation Army, Gillette
Verna Swindle, Wright Community Assistance, Wright
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: Bauman Photo & Film