During our packing sessions, I’m frequently asked, “Where does all of this food come from?” Without hesitation, my enthusiastic response is always the Food Bank of Wyoming. They are the key to our ability to provide a substantial amount of food in our weekly bags.
Recently, I had the privilege of touring the Food Bank of Wyoming distribution center located outside of Casper. I spent time with three remarkable staff members: Rebecca, Danica, and Shelly. They graciously showed me around both of their facilities and provided a clear explanation of their program’s operations. It was an eye-opening experience that gave me a real sense of the tremendous effort required to distribute food throughout our expansive state. With only 28 staff members, the Food Bank of Wyoming relies heavily on dozens of dedicated volunteers. They truly keep things bustling! I want to express my sincere gratitude to them for taking the time to give me this insightful tour.
Walking through the distribution center felt like exploring a massive warehouse, reminiscent of a Costco. Everywhere I looked, there were large pallets of food, meticulously wrapped and labeled, ready to be shipped to their respective destinations. The walk-in refrigeration and freezer areas were huge! We watched Alex, their skilled forklift driver, expertly navigating through the aisles, delivering the food orders to the designated pick-up stations. The highlight of the day was the new plastic wrapping machine that now handles all pallet wrapping. Rebecca demonstrated the art of “pallet wrapping without getting dizzy,” and we all shared a good laugh. Previously, the staff had to manually wrap the pallets using cling wrap, spinning around and around… you can imagine the challenge. Thanks to the pallet wrapping machine, wrapping a pallet now takes just a few minutes, sparing anyone from getting dizzy! I learned so much about their program and was amazed by their efficient food distribution to the 19 locations across Wyoming. To find out more about their services in your area, please visit wyomingfoodbank.org.
Did you know that the Food Bank of Wyoming visits Buffalo once a month? They generously provide boxes of food, available for pick-up free of charge at the JC Fairgrounds Community Building on the third Tuesday of every month from 12-2 pm. No sign-up or eligibility requirements are necessary to receive a box. They operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s essential to arrive on time to ensure you get what you need. However, the Food Bank of Wyoming goes beyond merely packing food into boxes and shipping them out. They carefully consider the ingredients included and sometimes even include recipes to accompany the food. They collaborate with the Cent$ible Nutrition Program, which offers cooking classes and other initiatives to educate people about nutrition. For more information, please visit their website at https://uwyocnp.org/.
Sadly, I often encounter individuals who fail to recognize the need for these services in our state. They’re taken aback when confronted with the numbers and stories of those who have benefited from this program. In 2020 alone, the Food Bank of Wyoming supported approximately 99,000 Wyoming residents experiencing food insecurity. It’s clear that the need is substantial, and the Food Bank of Wyoming is fulfilling its intended purpose admirably.
We are honored and grateful to partner with the Food Bank of Wyoming. I urge you to consider making a donation to support the amazing work they do. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against hunger.