The Wyoming Food Bank has launched an online fundraiser as part of Hunger Action Month, a September awareness campaign by the nonprofit Feeding America.
Donations will be matched by the Powder River Energy Foundation, with help from CoBank and Basin Electric, up to $25,000. With that extra money, every dollar contributed translates to about eight meals, according to a news release on Tuesday. About 96 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to Wyoming Food Bank programs.
“We’re really able to stretch those dollars even more than if you could buy food at the grocery store and donate it,” Rachel Bailey, executive director of the Wyoming Food Bank, told the Star-Tribune in August. .
Visit wyomingfoodbank.org to donate. Anyone interested in getting involved in hunger relief efforts can sign up to volunteer for the Wyoming Food Bank, connect with lawmakers to raise awareness about food insecurity, or host a food drive or a local fundraiser, according to the statement.
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The fundraiser comes during a particularly difficult time for hunger relief organizations across the country.
High inflation means more people are relying on pantries to get by. Donors and community partners – themselves impacted by rising prices – are also giving less.
Hunger relief organizations are also receiving less federal funding compared to the start of the pandemic — about 50 to 75 percent less per month, according to the Food Bank of Wyoming’s website. This is because many temporary extensions of social programs have expired.
A federal program tasked with providing about 20% of the food bank’s inventory experienced supply chain issues earlier this summer, Bailey said.
The organization distributed 957,004 pounds of food in May. In June, that figure fell to 766,542 pounds of food, about 20% less than the previous month.
More and more Wyoming residents rely on food pantries to get by. Yet changes to federal funding, supply chain issues and dwindling donations have left them with less inventory to carry.