Food from the Field: combating food insecurity in Wyoming

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative has teamed up with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies, and participating processors to streamline game meat donations to food pantries statewide in a new initiative called Food from the Field. 

The processors currently participating are Star Valley Meat Block and Co. Storage LLC located in Thayne as well as Dan’s Meat Processing in Evansville. Admiral Beverage has recently joined the effort by donating a refrigerator truck for carcass storage.

As a part of the program, all donated deer, elk, and moose will undergo appropriate Chronic Wasting Disease testing to ensure safety prior to entering the food bank system. Cold storage is necessary to store carcasses until participating processors are notified of the Chronic Wasting Disease test results. 

Most processors are extremely busy during hunting season and lack additional cold storage during the time they are waiting on test results; the refrigerated truck will allow additional space for carcasses to be stored.

“When we raised the funds for Food from the Field, we anticipated additional charges for necessary components such as refrigerated trucks but Admiral Beverage not only donated the truck but the driver and fuel to get it from Worland to Star Valley and back,” said First Lady Jennie Gordon. “This kind of generosity demonstrates the level to which Wyoming residents are committed to taking care of their neighbors.”

If able, hunters are invited to make a financial donation to cover the cost of processing. Hunters are asked to fill out a short form when they go to have the meat processed agreeing to donate the carcass. 

The ultimate goal of Food from the Field is to utilize Wyoming resources to combat food insecurity. The program complements existing donation efforts around the state and the increased collaboration between agencies offers a framework for more processors to participate. 

More information about the program can be found here.

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