Just like so many people do at the start of a new year, Food Bank of Wyoming is also using this time of renewal and excitement to outline some 2024 “resolutions,” if you will. Across our programs and departments, our staff is hard at work brainstorming ways to more efficiently and effectively support our community with the food necessary to thrive. Join us in looking ahead to the new year with hope and anticipation, knowing that, thanks to your support, Food Bank of Wyoming will be able to nourish our neighbors experiencing hunger across the state.
The overarching objective for Food Bank of Wyoming is to be present in Wyoming communities with the intent of supporting our 150+ Hunger Relief Partners, strengthening programs, increasing volunteers, and forming alliances with like-minded organizations.
A few of the ways the Wyoming team will strive to achieve these goals include:
The New FRESH Express Route
In October 2023, Food Bank of Wyoming piloted a new delivery route called the FRESH Express Route. The FRESH Express Route allows Food Bank of Wyoming to deliver fresh produce to 50+ Hunger Relief Partners more frequently and pick up food from local producers such as Vertical Harvest in western Wyoming to distribute locally grown food directly to communities. These new routes are an addition to regular deliveries to Hunger Relief Partners.
We have hired a full-time FRESH Express Route driver and acquired a new over-the-road truck and trailer to reach more partners more frequently with nutritious food. We are excited to launch this new route, which was requested by partners and supplies our neighbors across the state with more fresh produce.
Data Collection and Statewide Assessment
We are excited to announce that we have received a USDA Reach and Resiliency grant in partnership with the WY Department of Family Services, which will be used to help strengthen Food Bank of Wyoming’s capacity to collect, analyze, and interpret food insecurity data across the state. We want to understand our neighbors’ barriers to food access, what types of food would they like to have access to, and what has caused them to seek food assistance. We also hope to discover what additional support our neighbors may need in order to thrive.
With this assessment, we will hopefully better understand the barriers to food access across Wyoming, identify communities where more nutritious food is needed, and partner with other human services organizations to help support neighbors with basic needs.
USDA Local Food Purchasing Agreement Grant
We were recently awarded a USDA Local Food Purchasing Agreement Grant, through which we will be able to purchase more produce and proteins from local and regional producers; expand economic opportunities for local farmers and ranchers; enter into local partnerships to increase the amount of fresh, nutritious food available to Wyomingites experiencing food insecurity; and feed Wyoming food to Wyoming neighbors.
Donor and Volunteer Engagement
We are focused on engaging with donors, volunteers, and like-minded organizations across the state. Our day-to-day operations of sourcing, purchasing, storing, and distributing food to and through our 150+ Hunger Relief Partners, 19+ mobile pantries, Food for Kids partners, and food boxes for older adults are fueled by generous donors and volunteers like you. In 2024, look for the Food Bank of Wyoming team out in your community and ask us how your donations and time are being used effectively and strategically to serve our Wyoming neighbors.
20th Anniversary in 2024
In 2024, join us as a volunteer at our distribution center, one of our 19+ mobile pantries, or schedule a tour to visit us in Casper! This year is our 20th anniversary, and we are excited to engage with you and our neighbors as we continue to ignite the power of community to nourish our communities across Wyoming.
We are able to provide these resources and much more to our neighbors thanks to you, our valued and dedicated supporters. With your backing, we are able to look forward to 2024 with hopeful anticipation, knowing that wherever there is a need, together we will find an innovative way to meet it.