After a whirlwind of a year, suddenly it’s 2022. We had our biggest year ever at Food Bank of Wyoming in 2021, not only in terms of pounds of food distributed but also in the expansion of signature programs like the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative and prioritizing the procurement and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables through our new FRESH program.
Keeping the momentum of 2021 going, we are looking ahead at 2022 with hope and determination. We invite you to join us in our excitement for what we anticipate to be another record-breaking year in terms of serving our neighbors throughout Wyoming with equity, dignity, and care. Here are some of the ways we plan to do that this year, as told to you directly from the team members spearheading the charge.
Richard Plumlee, Chief Operations Officer
On the operations side of our organization, our goals center on improved customer service. This includes faster call response time, quick and accurate order fulfillment, and timely deliveries to our 160+ Hunger Relief Partners. We also plan to increase the variety and availability of food items for partners to order. All of these initiatives will help our partners to better tailor food options to the needs and desires of their communities and distribute that food faster.
Along these lines, we have a goal of distributing 1 million pounds of fresh produce to our Hunger Relief Partners every year at no cost through our FRESH and Culturally Responsive Food Initiative programs. We understand the importance of fresh produce for people experiencing hunger in Wyoming and the difficulty in finding it, especially in rural areas.
Myriam Wolcott, Programs Manager
In 2022, we are striving to identify underserved populations throughout Wyoming, alleviate barriers to receiving food assistance, and ensure access to culturally responsive food to more people (see below). We are also focusing on reaching new communities to partner with and help them find food assistance that best fits the needs of their residents.
Data is key to improving outreach and providing the best service possible to our clients, which is why we are also focused on increasing data collection across our programs. At the core of this mission is Link2Feed, our client service insights program. By using this digital data-collection tool, our partners across Wyoming can distribute food faster and make sure they are getting the types of food their community members want and need to thrive.
Culturally Responsive Food Initiative
Ashley Newell, Culturally Responsive Manager
The Culturally Responsive Food Initiative (CRFI) team is looking forward to enabling more opportunities to listen and learn from the communities we partner with, ensuring Food Bank of Wyoming and our partners show up for our clients in ways that reflect their unique cultures and eliminate any potential barriers to access they may face.
To do this, we will expand CRFI into more communities so that more people have access to the foods they are familiar with and desire. We will also be increasing culturally responsive education and capacity opportunities for our partners, and continue to focus on collecting client feedback from communities across Wyoming so we know what types of food they would like to see at distributions.
While we cannot know what 2022 will bring, we can say with confidence that Food Bank of Wyoming will continue to show up in the communities we serve with tenacity and dedication. We invite you — as a donor, volunteer, partner, or potential future team member — to join us in our mission to ignite the power of community to nourish people facing hunger. Together, we can take the next steps toward ending food insecurity in our communities. Together, we can.