As Food Bank of Wyoming’s new executive director, Rachel Bailey, brings to the role a world-wide understanding of the toll food insecurity can have on a community. And she wants to use that knowledge to help people in her home state.
Rachel grew up in Casper and then traveled the world through opportunities presented by college and jobs — from Mexico to France, San Francisco to London, and all over Europe, Asia, and Africa. While she loved working in cities around the globe, after so many years abroad, Rachel longed for the feeling of community she’d always found in Wyoming.
“Really, I wanted to be able to bring all of the things I had learned, my experiences and my skills back to help my community and the place I grew up to try to make a difference here,” she said.
One of the things Rachel experienced in her travels were places where people did not have enough food to eat. “I’ve traveled to a lot of places where food insecurity is prevalent throughout a community,” she said. “I think in America, because [many] people have such abundance, they forget that not everybody lives that way.”
After moving back to Casper, Rachel took a job with the American Cancer Society working on a community health initiative. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra for the past decade. In that job, she gained experience with managing a nonprofit, working with a board of directors, creating impact-driven programs, and overseeing fundraising campaigns. Both of these previous opportunities prepared her for and made her excited to start her new position as executive director of Food Bank of Wyoming.
“I feel that access to nourishing food and being able to eliminate some of the food insecurity [present in Wyoming] is really part of the backbone of elevating communities and helping families,” she said.
In her role overseeing Food Bank of Wyoming, Rachel looks forward to meeting Hunger Relief Partners and volunteers across the state, and working with everyone involved with the Food Bank to work hand in hand to alleviate hunger in Wyoming while providing the best support possible to partners. She also wants to increase awareness across Wyoming to tell more people about the work the Food Bank does.
“I really love Wyoming, and I really love the people in the community,” Rachel said. “I went away and had all these experiences, but honestly the best experiences I’ve had in my life have been right here in my home. I think that Wyoming has such generous people; people here take care of each other. I’m very excited to be a part of the community and food distribution and work with all of the volunteers and staff of our partner organizations. I feel that this is Wyoming at its best.”