CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative is expanding with a new program called “Food from the Farm + Ranch.”
The program seeks donations from local food producers to help combat food insecurity in Wyoming. There are about 71,000 people in Wyoming who face this challenge, according to the Wyoming Hunger Initiative.
“There is no better time to recognize Wyoming producers while meeting the increase in needs across the state,” the Wyoming Hunger Initiative said in their Tuesday, May 5 announcement. “Ultimately, the end goal is to reach a point beyond COVID-19 where families and pantries can purchase meat from local producers instead of seeking an out-of-state supplier.”
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The Wyoming Hunger Initiative are partnering with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Custom Meats, Inc., the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies for the new program and have already received their first donations.
“This collaboration exemplifies the partnership between related industries all committed to utilizing Wyoming products to care for Wyoming people,” states the announcement. “For the very first time, three beef cattle have been donated by Wyoming producers to be processed by Wyoming Custom Meats Inc. in Hudson, and will be donated to Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies to be distributed throughout the state as a vital source of protein.”
“Employees of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture have donated the processing fees for the cattle donated by L-T Livestock, and Hellyer Limited Partnership. The third was donated by Rich and Kay Pingetzer and Jess and Tim Sullivan of Shoshoni, with processing donated by WSGA members Jeff and Susan Sussman and Reg and Aline Phillips of Dubois.”
The Wyoming Hunger Initiative add that additional cattle processing dates are scheduled for later in May to accommodate further donations.
“Being a producer myself, my initial vision for Wyoming Hunger Initiative was to encompass a component of agriculture that would be part of the solution to food insecurity in our state,” said Gordon. “I am beyond excited about the immediate partnership between so many entities working together to ensure longevity of the program.”
Partner organizations involved in the new program encourage Wyoming producers to consider donations.
“Wyoming Stock Growers Association appreciates this opportunity to partner with the First Lady to meet the food needs of our Wyoming neighbors,” said WSGA Executive Vice President Jim Magagna. “We urge cattle producers across the state to generously step up by contacting us to donate cattle for Food from the Farm + Ranch.”