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Food Bank of Wyoming tries to raise money to help struggling pantries

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Will Walkey/Mountain West News Bureau
Usually, shelves a St. Joseph’s are fully stocked and stacked high. Things are a lot emptier than usual, according to Food Pantry Coordinator Eva Estorga.

Hunger relief organizations are grappling with high customer demand and dwindling supply. Rachel Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Wyoming, is trying to raise awareness around this issue. Her organization provides provisions for more than 150 partners across the Cowboy State.

“What we really need from our communities right now is support,” she said.

Bailey said every dollar donated to her organization provides eight meals for those in need, and that can go a long way for people struggling to make ends as inflation continues. Food prices have risen nearly 11 percent in the last 12 months, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index.

“One in eight adults in Wyoming face insecurity and one in six children in Wyoming face insecurity. And that's a huge part of our population,” Bailey said.

Bailey said local fundraising can help fill people’s shelves this year. But she’s also looking to Congress to fund more emergency relief programming to try and provide for pantries in a more sustainable way.

Will Walkey is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. He first arrived in Wyoming in 2020, where he covered Teton County for KHOL 89.1 FM in Jackson. His work has aired on NPR and numerous member stations throughout the Rockies, and his story on elk feedgrounds in Western Wyoming won a regional Murrow award in 2021.
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