Food

Taylar Stager

Wyoming has a short growing season and one non-profit is already starting the new year preparing to combat food insecurity on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Elizabeth Ridgely

Food insecurity is being without access to affordable, healthy food. Historic racism and long drives to a grocery store impede Native people on the Wind River Reservation from access to healthy food.

The Food Bank for Larimer County’s warehouse in Loveland looks like a factory assembly line. People are busy preparing and packing provisions for when the doors open in an hour.

"Cookies, protein bars, coffee – a little of everything," says volunteer Ruben Marez. "I kind of like to mix and match."

Every year Marez travels to volunteer with the Red Cross and help with disaster relief. This year, he decided he was needed close to home and began volunteering at the onset of the pandemic.

Panic buying has slowed down considerably since this spring, but one thing still lingering is higher demand for meat that's easier for people to cook themselves.


Ben Pease

In some Native communities getting to a grocery store can take up to an hour and requires access to a vehicle. And there is no guarantee that the food there is fresh, often being trucked in from days away. Tsanavi Spoonhunter is the director of Crow Country: Our Right to Food Sovereignty.

The documentary explores food insecurity on the Crow Reservation in Montana. Wyoming Public Radio's Taylar Stagner spoke with her about the award-winning film and the inspiration that brought her to Montana.

Feeding

When the pandemic hit the Laramie community, food banks saw an increase in visitors. To continue to support those facing economic hardships this fall, Feeding Laramie Valley implemented the Kids Home For Dinner program to provide kids with two homemade meals for the weekend. 

Bureau of Land Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a backlog in the meat processing industry. So Gov. Mark Gordon is directing $10 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Wyoming processors expand their operations.

The Meat Processing Expansion grant program hopes to address supply chain issues many producers and processors are facing.

Meatpacking plants across the Mountain West and the country are under intense scrutiny as they continue to face COVID-19 outbreaks.


The Department of Interior is proposing a rule change that could open the door for more private companies to operate within national parks.

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.

How COVID-19 Is Scrambling The Egg Business

Apr 13, 2020

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.

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