CHEYENNE — First lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative and the Wyoming Governor’s Residence Foundation awarded 30 food relief checks in July and August to Wyoming senior centers, including Rock Springs Young at Heart and the Golden Hour Senior Center in Green River, with funds designated for the Natrona and Cheyenne Meals on Wheels sites as well. All told, the donations totaled over $10,000 as part of the total $80,000 allocated to anti-hunger nonprofit organizations throughout Wyoming’s 23 counties in July and August. The COVID-19 response funds will be directed specifically to feed families and seniors during this time of crisis in a safe environment.

“Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s mission is to end childhood hunger in Wyoming but when COVID hit and so many generous donors stepped up to provide for hungry families in Wyoming, we knew we needed to shift to include all people who were in need of food,” Gordon said in a press release. “There are numerous senior centers around the state of Wyoming who are providing meals during this time and we felt it was equally as important to include them in our distribution.”

Wyoming Hunger Initiative funds were allocated to:

— Campbell County Senior Citizens Association

— Carbon County Senior Services Inc.

— Douglas Senior Center Inc.

— High Country Senior Citizens, Dubois

— Lander Senior Citizens Center

— Northern Arapaho Tribe and Black Coal Senior Center

— Shoshoni Senior Center

— Goshen County Senior Friendship Center

— Hot Springs County Senior Center

— Buffalo Senior Center

— Housing Authority of Cheyenne

— Meals on Wheels of Cheyenne

— Pine Bluffs Senior Center

— Central Wyoming Senior Services

— Natrona County Meals on Wheels

— Niobrara Senior Center

— Cody Council on Aging

— Epson Senior Center, Inc.

— Powell Senior Citizens

— The Hub on Smith

— Rendezvous Pointe, Sublette

— Southwest Sublette County Pioneers

— Golden Hour Senior Center, Green River

— Rock Springs Young At Heart Center

— Senior Center of Jackson Hole

— Uinta Senior Citizens

— Uinta Senior Citizens, Bridger Valley

— Ten Sleep Senior Center

— Washakie County Senior Citizens Center

— Weston County Senior Services

This is not the first time Gordon has set up an effort on behalf of the state’s senior population. Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she and Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division partnered to ask the state’s citizens to send letters and cards to residents in the state’s skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. The result was 5,134 cards mailed to 40 centers around the Cowboy State.

“Older Wyomingites, AARP Wyoming, and our members have long received support from those inside the Governor’s Residence, but the work of the first lady on behalf of our state’s age 50 and over has been truly outstanding,” AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway said in the release. “The first lady and Department of Health’s letters and cards program is a great way to reach out to those struggling with social isolation, which impacts both mental and physical well-being.”

Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s efforts are made possible by generous donors, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Power, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, Black Hills Energy, AT&T, Albertsons Foundation, Cowboy Skill Games, Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, Wyoming Business Alliance, Hughes Charitable Foundation, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Ciner of Wyoming, Associated General Contractors of Wyoming, Freudenthal Law Office, UniWyo Federal Credit Union, Markle Financial, Brown N’ Gold Outlet, and numerous private donors from across the state.

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