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Food Bank of Wyoming distributed 10.8 million pounds of food in 2023

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(Wyoming News Service) Working with more than 150 hunger relief partners across the state, Food Bank of Wyoming was able to distribute nearly 11 million pounds of food in 2023, a 9 percent increase from the previous year.

Jill Stillwagon, development director for the food bank, said one in nine adults and one in eight children in Wyoming do not have enough to eat or do not know where their next meal will come from.

"We really are seeing Wyoming neighbors seeking food assistance right now," Stillwagon observed. "They're having to make sometimes difficult decisions, whether that's between buying enough food to eat or paying rent, or paying for medicine."

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Stillwagon is working to refill the food bank's coffers to meet this year's demand. She stressed donations to their Annual Fund are critical for purchasing and distributing fresh produce and shelf-stable foods to schools, churches and food pantries across the state.

Stillwagon pointed out people who benefit from Food Bank services come from all walks of life, from older adults to families with small children, in rural areas, towns and cities. She said many people working multiple jobs to keep their financial heads above water are just one life-disrupting event away from needing help.

"You might be OK this month, but lets' say something happens, you have an emergency; a car accident or a medical bill," Stillwagon explained. "We want to provide food to anyone and everyone, regardless of what you're going through."

The food bank operates 19 mobile food pantries, and recently launched the Fresh Express Route, which distributes nutrient-rich produce to 50 hunger relief partners by semi-truck. Stillwagon emphasized most local food sites welcome volunteers and she added the most efficient way to help neighbors experiencing hunger is by making a financial contribution.

"Food Bank of Wyoming is able to take $1 and provide enough food for three meals," Stillwagon outlined. "We are able to do that because of our purchasing power."