Local student recognized by Wyoming Hunger Initiative

(Fremont County, WY) — First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative, in partnership with Wyoming 4-H and FFA, recently piloted a new program under the Food from the Farm + Ranch banner called Fair to Fork. Thanks to a grant from the Hughes Charitable Foundation, Wyoming Hunger Initiative was able to purchase and process 14 hogs, then distribute them locally as yet another avenue of providing protein to local communities.

The program utilizes a lottery system to select youth for participation. In its first year, 14 youth from 14 Wyoming counties participated this year which equates to 2,255 pounds of pork distributed into local communities—18 anti-hunger agencies in all received pork from the program, all while supporting youth development and participation in sustainable agricultural solutions to hunger.

“Fresh food and sources of high-quality protein are notoriously expensive and difficult to procure for the food bank system,” says First Lady Jennie Gordon. “Being a producer myself, my initial vision for Wyoming Hunger Initiative was to encompass a component of agriculture that would be part of the solution to food insecurity in our state. Fair to Fork is another way to execute that vision while encouraging Wyoming’s youth to get involved.”

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The following 4-H or FFA members were chosen through a lottery to participate based on their indication of wishing to participate. The donation site of the hog is included as well.

  • Braden Crawford, Albany County – Laramie Soup Kitchen
  • Braxton Layne, Big Horn County – Lovell Community Food Pantry & Basin Food Bank
  • Lyric Jaure, Carbon County – Boys & Girls Club of Carbon County
  • Madeline Fleenor, Crook County – Crook County Food Pantry
  • Justice Laird, Fremont County – Lander Community Meal
  • Eli Case, Goshen County – Goshen County Senior Friendship Center
  • Owen McCumber, Hot Springs County – Thermopolis Senior Center
  • Brynlee Loyd, Laramie County – Pine Bluffs Senior Center
  • Wyatt Strauch, Niobrara County – Niobrara County Senior Center
  • Allison Morrison, Park County – Cody Cupboard and Powell Valley Loaves & Fishes
  • Karly Jones, Platte County – Wheatland Food Bank
  • Natalee Herbst, Sheridan County – Sheridan College General’s Pantry, Story-Banner
    Community Food Pantry, and Ranchester Community Cupboard
  • Eddie Owens, Teton County – Jackson Cupboard
  • Ira Croft, Washakie County – Crisis Prevention

“The Fair to Fork program is a natural fit for 4-H and FFA members. Youth that raise animals for food production benefit from the market animal auction at the county fairs already, but this gives them an opportunity to contribute to meeting local food insecurity needs of their neighbors and communities,” says Wyoming State 4-H Program Coordinator Jonathan Despain. “We look forward to growing this opportunity with our youth as local producers, local processors, and local public food servicers to lift local communities.”

The ultimate goal of Food from the Farm + Ranch is to utilize Wyoming products to combat food insecurity. This collaboration exemplifies the partnership between related industries committed to utilizing Wyoming products to care for Wyoming people. This program is made possible due to a partnership between Wyoming Hunger Initiative, University of Wyoming Extension, the Wyoming FFA Association, and the Hughes Charitable Foundation.

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