Wyoming Hunger Initiative launches a new program, Grow a Little Extra

First lady of Wyoming Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative has announced a partnership with University of Wyoming Extension to launch a new program under the Food from the Farm + Ranch banner called Grow a Little Extra. 

According to the first lady’s office, instead of reinventing the wheel, this collaboration utilizes existing resources to create a sustainable solution to hunger.

Wyoming Hunger Initiative Regional Directors Dr. Caitlin Youngquist and Lori Dickinson, both from University of Wyoming Extension, spearheaded this effort to encourage gardeners to Grow a Little Extra this year in order to provide produce for their neighbors in need. The Grow a Little Extra campaign will target three groups in Wyoming: home gardeners who can “grow a little extra” to share with local food pantries, existing community gardens who can dedicate one or two sections to growing food specifically for local food distribution agencies, and churches or community organizations who want to start a new garden to grow food for the community.

“University of Wyoming Extension is already doing good work around the state with their Master Gardener program and Cent$ible Nutrition Program,” Gordon said in a statement. “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.”

Organizers are encouraging anyone in the state of Wyoming who enjoys gardening to grow an extra row or two and donate the produce to their local Cent$ible Nutrition Program, where it will be weighed and distributed to local anti-hunger organizations. 

Wyoming Hunger Initiative has also distributed seed packets to all twenty-three counties and the Wind River Indian Reservation for those interested in picking them up for free at their local Extension office. Lastly, infrastructure grants are available for organizations who 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. The Grow a Little Extra project provides an outstanding opportunity for all of us to rally in support of local organizations who provide food for our community members who are in need. Please visit your local UW Extension office for information and assistance in contributing to this important effort,” Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Kelly Crane said.

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