It felt unimaginable two years ago that we would still be dealing with the impact of COVID-19 today. We are, though, and its effects continue to disrupt Food Bank of Wyoming’s mission of providing our neighbors with the food they need to thrive.
Soaring inflation is driving up the cost of basic necessities and forcing more people to seek food assistance. Inflation is also hitting us, with some staples costing as much as 70% more year over year. Indeed, for the first time in recent memory, $1 now only allows us to distribute enough food for three meals, not four — an enormous shift.
To meet the needs of our community, we are spending an additional $120,000 or more every month to purchase food — over three-times what we were spending pre-COVID. There are multiple factors necessitating this, including:
Amidst these challenges that would have felt insurmountable a few years ago, we have been able to respond with more boldness and perseverance than we could have dreamed. And that is thanks to you, our dedicated supporters. You have recognized this critical moment and heeded the call with generous outpourings of support. Thank you for partnering with us. We are so thankful for you.
Janice (left) and Sherree (right) are among the 150 or so people who attend Food Bank of Wyoming’s monthly mobile pantry in Buffalo. Sherree is on disability and cares for her mother. Janice is her neighbor.
“There’s nothing we can’t use,” said Janice. “Nothing goes to waste.”
“It gets pretty tight with our budget; sometimes we have to choose between prescriptions and food,” added Sherree. “So this is a life-saving gift for us. We’re very, very grateful for this food.”
To best nourish our neighbors, Food Bank of Wyoming partners with an array of community organizations, programs, and thought leaders across the state.
One such partner is the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC). In September 2022, SAREC, in tandem with the Cent$ible Nutrition Program, donated nearly 11,000 pounds of potatoes to the Food Bank.
“It’s nice to know the food came right out of [Wyoming’s] fields and is going right into our communities,” said Cent$ible Nutrition’s program manager.
As a Tribal Relations Consultant to Food Bank of Wyoming, Jacqueline White helps coordinate monthly mobile pantries and the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative on Wind River Indian Reservation.
Working with Tribal Leaders from the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, White helps to source food that is desired by residents and to ensure everyone who needs food has access to it.
“One of the elders told me there is no higher honor for our people than to give one another food,” said White. “I feel so blessed to be able to help people with food.”
There is no single description of a Food Bank of Wyoming client, but there is a common throughline: They are people in need of food, and they know they can come to us to get the nourishment required to thrive.
We are able to provide these resources to our neighbors throughout Wyoming thanks to you, our valued and dedicated supporters. With your backing, we are able to look forward to 2023 with hopeful anticipation and optimism, knowing that wherever there is a need, together we will find an innovative, effective way to meet it. Together, we can
Hunger cuts across demographics and borders, indifferent to the past, present or future chapters of a person’s life. Through our 150+ Hunger Relief Partners and mobile pantries located across the state, Food Bank of Wyoming meets individuals wherever they need us, ensuring that anyone who is experiencing hunger gets the nourishing food they need to thrive. The adjacent map demonstrates how we serve Wyoming, including the equivalent amount of meals provided per county in fiscal year 2022 (derived from total pounds distributed).