Food

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

A new program will allow hunters in the state to donate game meat to those in need.

Food From the Field is part of First Lady Jennie Gordon's Wyoming Hunger Initiative, which is aimed at raising awareness for food insecurity in our state and supporting local organizations that do so.

The pandemic has beef markets on a roller coaster, and Shohone, Idaho's Amie Taber is among the ranchers along for the ride.

 


A little boy in an orange shirt walks up to a grab-and-go meal site at an elementary school in Salt Lake City, Utah. A school worker wearing a mask uses a bullhorn to let kitchen staff know the boy's there. Then a staffer sets a bag lunch and some extra strawberries on a table and backs away.

 


When I was little, my dad and I would walk behind our house in west-central Montana and stare at the ground. And then walk. Stare. Walk. Stare. We'd do this for hours, searching for that tasty, edible and highly prized morel mushroom.


Millions of newly impoverished people are turning to the charitable organizations known as food banks. Mile-long lines of cars, waiting for bags of free food, have become one of the most striking images of the current economic crisis. Donations are up, too, including from a new billion-dollar government effort called the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

Beef prices are on the rise while live cattle prices are falling. One reason for that is COVID-19 disrupting meat processing plants. There are more cattle and less product because some cows can’t get processed. But many suspect there's more to the story.


Updated at 10:32 a.m. ET

Food prices have jumped the most since 1974, when double-digit inflation became a national concern. But inflation isn't a worry this time as prices for just about everything else are diving.

New inflation numbers out Tuesday from the Labor Department offer a window on how consumers are coping in the COVID-19 era. And the bottom line is that we're snacking more — and paying more for a lot of food — as we shop more at our local grocery stores.

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon's hunger initiative has started a new program, Food From the Farm and Ranch, to get local meat to people in need.

The Wyoming Hunger Initiative is partnering with state groups and agencies like the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture to provide ground beef.

Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


I-5 Design & Manufacture

Residents of Park, Sheridan and Campbell County went to grocery stores and pharmacies more often during March. That's according to Google data from users who have opted in to location history for their Google account.

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.

It’s hard to keep some items stocked in stores these days. We’ve all heard about the toilet paper shortage. But what about eggs?


The vast majority of the country is under lockdown right now. But stay-at-home orders come with a few exceptions — like grocery shopping.

Many of us are still venturing out to stock up on food and toiletries. But what's the safest way to shop during this pandemic? And what should you do once you've brought your haul home?

We asked infectious disease, virology and food safety experts to share their tips about safe grocery shopping — and what you can stop worrying about.

Know the dangers — focus on the people, not the food

Ivy Engel

On March 19, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issued an order requiring all food establishments to halt sit-down services and move exclusively to delivery or to-go orders. Just a couple of weeks later, the order was extended through April 30.

Jake Billington has worked at the livestock auction at the Twin Falls Livestock Commission in southern Idaho for 28 years.


Charlize Branch

Ethel Branch is the former attorney general of the Navajo Nation. A few weeks ago, when she went grocery shopping in Flagstaff, Arizona, she noticed that the shelves were already pretty bare. That worried her. For shoppers from the nearby Navajo Nation, a grocery store can be hours away.

Walk into many grocery stores these days, and you’ll see two things: crowds and empty shelves. You may also notice narrow aisles and checkout lines that make it hard to practice the social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While many businesses are shutting down to help stop the spread of COVID-19, grocery stores don’t have that luxury. And grocery workers like cashiers don’t make that much - at most, around $15 an hour. But like health care workers, they’re considered essential.

As the Mountain West braces for more coronavirus cases, one community service has become even more vital: Meals on Wheels.

FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Grocery store shelves across our state are empty due to stockpiling and panic-buying. Many grocers are responding by making special accommodations for the elderly, immunocompromised, and others at high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands of Mountain West residents who were slated to be kicked off food stamps will retain access to benefits next month. That's after a federal judge blocked a Trump administration rule mandating work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP.

Sunday Vinyl

The Mountain West is very well represented in this year's James Beard Awards, the semifinalists for which were announced last week.

Makenna Greenwald

Back in 2017, the first USDA-inspected full-service meat processing plant in the state of Wyoming in over 40 years opened up shop in Cody. Now, Laramie is set to open its first-ever meat processing plant as soon as March. 

CC0 Public Domain via (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Senior research scientist Thomas Foulke first learned about these ancient grains in France, where he takes students for a yearly agriculture program. He was flipping through an old French cookbook when he came across a recipe that called for spelt. Unfamiliar with the word, he looked it up and found that it was a grain, one of the first ever cultivated.

As we get ready to chow down on holiday foods over the next couple of weeks, a new study has some grim news. It projects half of Americans will be obese and a quarter will be severely obese in the next decade.

Epi’s is a Basque restaurant in Meridian Idaho, just west of Boise. In mid-morning, things are still pretty quiet, but owner Eric McFarland and a few others are prepping food.


The holidays often mean Christmas hams, mulled wine and potato latkes. But in the Mountain West, our food occasionally comes from the forest and not the grocery store. Tom Healy is a hunter living in the small town of Wisdom, Montana. This holiday season, he tried a gamey twist on traditional, eastern European cabbage rolls, called halupkis. Check out his recipe below. 

The lack of access to nutritious food is a major issue across Indian Country. One program in Nevada is looking to increase healthy habits among youth on reservations and the rural communities surrounding them.

Catherine Wheeler

Wednesday mornings at the Food Group in Sheridan are usually busy.

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, which means extra food — and extra food waste. But one man’s garbage is another’s renewable energy.


uwyo.edu

The University of Wyoming has hired a new dean to oversee the Department of Agriculture. Barbara Rasco is a food scientist, engineer and attorney known around the world for her work on food safety.

Now she's bringing that knowledge to bear on Wyoming's deep history in ranching and its new progress in local food entrepreneurship.

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