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Published April 13, 2021
First lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative is partnering with University of Wyoming Extension to launch a program under the “Food from the Farm + Ranch” banner called “Grow a Little Extra.”
Wyoming Hunger Initiative regional directors Caitlin Youngquist and Lori Dickinson, both UW Extension educators, spearheaded the effort to encourage gardeners to “grow a little extra” this year to provide produce for their neighbors in need.
UW Extension has offices in all 23 counties and the Wind River Indian Reservation. The collaboration uses existing resources to create a sustainable solution to hunger, according to the first lady’s office.
“University of Wyoming Extension is already doing good work around the state with their Master Gardener program and Cent$ible Nutrition Program,” Gordon says. “This Wyoming Hunger Initiative effort will leverage the work already being done and help increase access to local produce for a wide range of people in Wyoming.”
The first lady’s office says the Grow a Little Extra campaign targets three groups in Wyoming: home gardeners who can “grow a little extra” to share with local food pantries; existing community gardens that can dedicate one or two sections to growing food specifically for local food distribution agencies; and churches or community organizations that want to start new gardens to grow food for the community.
Anyone in Wyoming who enjoys gardening is encouraged to grow an extra row or two and donate the produce to the local Cent$ible Nutrition Program, where it will be weighed and distributed to local anti-hunger organizations.
“The Grow a Little Extra project provides an outstanding opportunity for all of us to rally in support of local organizations that provide food for our community members who are in need,” says Kelly Crane, UW Extension director.
The Wyoming Hunger Initiative also has distributed seed packets to all 23 counties and the Wind River Indian Reservation for those interested in picking them up for free at their local extension offices.
Infrastructure grants are available for organizations that wish to expand an existing community garden or start a new one to grow produce specifically for sharing with families and organizations in need.
“UW Extension enthusiastically supports Wyoming gardeners, the community gardens across our state and Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative,” Crane says. “Please visit your local UW Extension office for information and assistance in contributing to this important effort.”
Visit www.nohungerwyo.org/grow for more information about the Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s Grow a Little Extra project. For more information, call Trista Ostrom, chief of staff to the first lady, at (307) 274-0365 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.