Local Senior Centers benefit from Hunger Initiative

Wyoming's First Lady Jennie Gordon, left, chatted with CWC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kathy Wells, right, and CWC Foundation Director Beth Monteiro, center, at CWC's Alpine Science Institute in Sinks Canyon outside of Lander last month. Gordon was interested to learn more about the college's mobile meat science lab and local food programs. Wyotoday.photo by Ernie Over

First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative and the Wyoming Governor’s Residence Foundation awarded 30 food relief checks in July and August to Wyoming Senior Centers, with funds designated for the Natrona and Cheyenne Meals on Wheels sites as well. All told, the donations totaled over $10,000 as part of the total $80,000 allocated to antihunger nonprofit organizations throughout Wyoming’s 23 counties in July and August.

The COVID response funds will be directed specifically to feed families and seniors during this time of crisis in a safe environment. “Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s mission is to end childhood hunger in Wyoming but when COVID hit and so many generous donors stepped up to provide for hungry families in Wyoming, we knew we needed to shift to include all people who were in need of food,” says Gordon. “There are numerous senior centers around the state of Wyoming who are providing meals during this time and we felt it was equally as important to include them in our distribution.”

This is not the first time the First Lady has set up an effort on behalf of the state’s senior population. Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Lady and Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division partnered to ask the state’s citizens to send letters and cards to residents in the state’s skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. The result was 5,134 cards mailed to 40 centers around the Cowboy State.

“Older Wyomingites, AARP Wyoming, and our members have long received support from those inside the Governor’s Residence, but the work of the First Lady on behalf of our state’s age 50 and over has been truly outstanding,” says AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway.“ The First Lady and Department of Health’s letters and cards program is a great way to reach out to those struggling with social isolation, which impacts both mental and physical well-being.

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Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s efforts are made possible by generous donors, including Blue CrossBlue Shield of Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Power, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, Black Hills Energy, AT&T, Albertsons Foundation, Cowboy Skill Games, Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, Wyoming Business Alliance, Hughes Charitable Foundation, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Ciner of Wyoming, Associated General Contractors of Wyoming, Freudenthal Law Office, UniWyo Federal Credit Union, Markle Financial, Brown N’ Gold Outlet, and numerous private donors from across the state.

About Wyoming Hunger Initiative

Wyoming Hunger Initiative seeks to find and support Wyoming solutions to the challenge of food insecurity, which affects approximately 71,000 residents statewide. Launched in October 2019, Wyoming Hunger Initiative is the official initiative of Wyoming’s First Lady Jennie Gordon and is governed by the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Governor’s Residence Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For more information, visit www.nohungerwyo.org.

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