Wyoming First Lady Begins Second Year of Grow a Little Extra

Wyoming First Lady Begins Second Year of “Grow a Little Extra”

Written by on April 27, 2022

Multiple agencies are partnering to support the third year of Jennie Gordon’s effort to reduce food scarcity by locally growing and sharing fresh produce.

First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative is proud to partner with the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) and the University of Wyoming Extension for the second year of the Grow a Little Extra project. This collaboration utilizes existing resources to create a sustainable solution to hunger through local food.

The Grow a Little Extra program encourages local produce producers to “grow a little extra” to share with local food pantries.  Existing community gardens can dedicate one or two sections to growing food specifically for local food distribution agencies and churches or community organizations that want to start a new garden to grow food for the community.

Free seeds are available at your Park County Extension offices in Cody (Park County Complex – 1501 Stampede Ave, Suite 2080) or Powell (Park County Fairgrounds – 655 East 5th Street).  CNP educator, Debbie Kelly, will coordinate Grow a Little Extra efforts in the area, including accepting produce donations, weighing them, and distributing them to local anti-hunger organizations.

In Park County, Grow a Little Extra donations will go to the Cody Cupboard (Cody) and Loaves and Fishes (Powell).

Last year’s campaign yielded over 10,000 pounds of fresh garden produce donated to local anti-hunger organizations for distribution around the state. Unfortunately, fresh produce is difficult and costly for the food pantry system to procure. This project encourages people from across the state to participate in this Wyoming solution to hunger.

“The University of Wyoming Extension is already doing good work around the state with their Master Gardener program and Cent$ible Nutrition Program,” says First Lady Jennie Gordon.

“This Wyoming Hunger Initiative effort continues to leverage the work already being done to increase access to local produce for a wide range of people in Wyoming.” Strengthening local food systems reduces food insecurity and increases positive health outcomes, which supports the Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s goal of ensuring nourished kids, healthy families, and thriving communities across the state.

“The Cent$ible Nutrition Program and UW Extension values the partnership with the First Lady’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative to increase access to locally grown fresh produce to people in need. Together, we have been able to increase produce donations and nutrition education to food pantry and anti-hunger agency patrons,” says Cent$ible Nutrition State Director Mindy Meuli.

Anyone in Wyoming who enjoys gardening is encouraged to grow an extra row or two and donate the produce to their local Extension office, where it will be weighed and distributed to local anti-hunger organizations.

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