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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Grant helps WY pantries source food locally

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024   

As summer begins, people who rely on Food Bank of Wyoming will start seeing more local options, thanks to a new grant.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state this year awarded the Food Bank of Wyoming a Local Food Purchasing Agreement Grant for the first time. The $500,000 grant helps the organization buy food from local producers and distribute it across the state via 150 brick-and-mortar pantries, 19 mobile pantries and backpack programs that provide simple meals for kids.

Odessa Oldham, food sourcing manager for the Food Bank of Wyoming, said she will purchase local corn, oats, pancake mix, flour, wheat berries and, of course, beef.

"We've been able to increase our beef by a little over 12,000 pounds and we're just beginning," Oldham noted. "I'm hoping to buy a heck of a lot more beef."

Oldham emphasized she hopes to source more local fruits and vegetables too, but those make up only a small amount of Wyoming-grown produce. The Food Bank of Wyoming has seen increased need since the pandemic. It served nearly 45,000 patrons last year, a 9% increase from 2022.

Before she started sourcing locally for the food bank in 2022, Oldham explained most of its food came from Denver. Oldham, a rancher herself, hopes the grant will connect local producers with buyers to build a network that will outlive the grant's timeline.

"It's an opportunity to not just sell your product to the food bank, but to open up to another market -- a larger market -- of other individuals in the state that are looking to purchase locally," Oldham added.

Grant monies are available through July of next year, when Oldham stressed she plans to apply for another round.


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