EVANSVILLE — The Food Bank of Wyoming is the new name of the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies. The organization will maintain its existing relationship with Food Bank of the Rockies while continuing to serve all of Wyoming, according to a press release.

“We believe that our new name — Food Bank of Wyoming — is a better reflection of our community-based organization,” Food Bank of Wyoming Director Tony Woodell said. “We recognize that Wyoming is unique, with different needs, with food distributions that encompass the entire state of Wyoming, and is deserving of a Wyoming-centric name. It is critical that our supporters and donors recognize that every dollar raised in Wyoming, stays in Wyoming to provide food to people who are facing hunger.”

The food bank distributes more than 1 million pounds of food monthly across the state.

“Because of the size of our state, our dedicated team drives long distances to distribute food directly and through our partnerships with 160 Hunger Relief Partners statewide,” Woodell said. “These past 12 months have stretched our resources beyond anything we could have ever imagined. 1 in 6 adults, and 1 in 4 children are facing hunger; our staff, volunteers, and donors have stepped up to help address this growing food crisis from all four corners of our state. From Evanston to Gillette and Ranchester to Cheyenne, we go wherever hunger rises in Wyoming regardless of the obstacles in our path.”

The Food Bank of Wyoming relies on volunteers to ensure it meets people where they are at. One of these all-stars is Sylvia Parvin, the volunteer coordinator at Rock River mobile pantry, which opened in 2018. Rock River, population 250, has not had a grocery store for decades, and the nearest one is 40 miles away. Access to food is even more challenging when the roads are bad.

Parvin oversees the distribution of 120 boxes of fresh produce and perishables at the Rock River fire hall. On bad weather days, the mayor and fire chief help her with home deliveries of food boxes to those who are unable to drive to the distribution site. The Rock River team is powered by an additional eight volunteers, most of whom are U.S. military veterans and a couple of whom have faced extreme challenges themselves.

“They still want to serve people, and it inspires the rest of us,” Parvin said.

Since March 2020, Food Bank of Wyoming has distributed more than 13.7 million pounds of food for the first time in its history. This is enough food to help provide over 11.4 million meals. That is more than a 29% increase in food distributed when compared to the same period in the previous year.

ABOUT THE FOOD BANK 

The Food Bank of Wyoming is the largest hunger-relief organization in Wyoming and provides food and essentials directly to people facing hunger and through more than 160 hunger relief partners across the state. The food bank serves as the Wyoming hub of Food Bank of the Rockies, which is a member of the Feeding America network. It said 96 cents of every dollar it receives goes directly to distribution.

For more information or for assistance accessing food, visit www.wyomingfoodbank.org/food or call 307-265-2172.

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