Wyoming Food Bank Of The Rockies Increasing Food Deliveries Around The State

Apr 15, 2020

Credit wyomingfoodbank.org

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is deploying its resources to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Food Bank Director Tony Woodell said they are delivering twice the amount of food they regularly bring to their partners across the state.

He said people need more help as children are out of school and lay-offs continue. The food bank is sending its mobile food pantries into communities to deliver more than 4,800 boxes of food items that can feed families of four for 21 meals.

"If you do the math, feeding a family of four, and then 3 meals a day, seven days a week, that's over 406,000 meals that we'll be doing just in the month of April alone. And that's in addition to our regular distribution," Woodell said.

Those boxes include shelf-stable food items, like a box of pasta and spaghetti sauce, a bag of fresh produce and a bag of protein sources.

Woodell said they've changed the way the mobile pantries hand out supplies so workers can abide social distancing guidelines.

"They pick up the food we have available. They put it in their trunk and they never get out of their cars. And our staff never have to be directly engaged with them," he said.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies has already set its April mobile pantry locations throughout the state, and they are finalizing May's locations. They hope to have drive-thru mobile pantries in all 23 counties by June, Woodell said.

He said they are constantly working on making sure they have enough supplies.

"So far, we've ran into some shortfalls that have been temporary and we've been able to backfill behind that. But this thing progresses, you never know what the food supply is going to do, but so far so good" Woodell said.

He added many regular and new donors have stepped up during this crisis, providing an increase in financial donations. Woodell said many are also working on matching donations for the organization.

Additionally, in early April, the Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon's Wyoming Hunger Initiative announced it would provide $40,000 to organizations throughout the state that need support in supplying residents with food.

According to a press release from the Governor's office, the Wyoming Hunger Initiative will also have a second round of funding in May to provide additional relief.

"We know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to hunger," First Lady Jennie Gordon said. "The Wyoming Hunger Initiative is committed to supporting the inspiring anti-hunger warriors who fight every day to find the best answer for their community."

Woodell said the First Lady's hunger initiative has been an excellent partner, along with many state agencies that are working on crisis relief.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.