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Buck-and-a-half Lunch Events in Wyoming Communities Spotlight Hunger

September 3, 2008
Woman smiling
Mary Kay Wardlaw

The Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) at the University of Wyoming has teamed with the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies (WFBR) during Hunger Action Month to offer "buck-and-a-half" lunches in several communities this month.

Local decision makers and agency representatives are being invited to participate in a lunch event, said Mary Kay Wardlaw, CNP director in the UW College of Agriculture.

CNP educators and volunteers will prepare the meals from the Cent$ible Nutrition Cookbook. CNP is a program of the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service (CES). WFBR will provide the funds.

"The purpose of this event is to bring attention to hunger in Wyoming and two important agencies to help families," Wardlaw said. "CNP teaches people how to stretch their food dollar, and the WFBR provides food for those in need. Lunch guests are often amazed to learn people in poverty have about $1.50 to spend per meal and are pleasantly surprised to see how CNP recipes make tasty, nutritious food that is inexpensive."

Each participant receives $1.50 in play money to purchase lunch. The $1.50 represents the amount each American is allocated for a meal on the U.S. Department of Agriculture thrifty food plan.

Wardlaw said the event heightens awareness about poverty and hunger in Wyoming while showcasing the CNP program that can help families feed themselves nutritiously for less money.

While the state of Wyoming is in an economic boom, there are still many children, parents and seniors who go to bed hungry every night, said Marguerite Meyer, director of WFBR.

WFBR distributed more than 1.2 million pounds of food to Wyoming agencies last year. "Almost 16,000 children still live in poverty in our state," she said. "Eleven percent of families in Wyoming are food insecure, which means they simply cannot afford food on a day-to-day basis."

Meyer said there are a greater number of two-parent families asking for food assistance. She anticipates WFBR distributing 1.8 million pounds of food this year.

The events will be held in the following towns and on the following dates:

Sept. 9 -- Powell. Noon at the Park County Fairgrounds; Douglas. Noon at the Wyoming National Guard Armory.

Sept. 10 -- Sheridan. Noon at the Sheridan College Joe and Arlene Watt Agriculture Center, Room 131.

Sept. 12 -- Wheatland. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the public library.

Sept. 15 -- Green River. Noon at the Green River Recreation Center multipurpose room

Sept. 16 -- Casper. 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center, 2011 Fairgrounds Road; Cody. Noon at the Victory Fellowship Church, 3219 Sheridan Ave.

Sept. 17 -- Hudson, noon, Hudson Town Hall; Afton. 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. at the Afton Civic Center, 150 S. Washington St.

Sept. 23 -- Torrington. To be determined; Laramie. Noon at the Albany County Fairgrounds activity building.

Sept. 24 -- Newcastle. Noon at the First Baptist Church, 903 S. Summit Ave.

Sept. 25 -- Lusk. Noon at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds; Sundance. Noon at the Crook County Courthouse meeting room.

Information about the Cent$ible Nutrition Cookbook, including how to order a copy, is available at For more information about the events, contact a local county CES office. Contact information is at

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