(Gillette, Wyo.) A thousand dollars can go a very long way. According to the Food Bank of the Rockies' Tonja Funch, that's what it costs to bring over 30,000 pounds of food to Gillette, enough to feed 600 families. Wyoming's branch of the Food Bank of the Rockies was in Gillette last month
with enough donated
merchandise from Wal-Mart's distribution center to feed 472 families. Today
they were back again, with even more resources on hand to help.
"A lot of the products that come here are donated," said Funch, the Agency
Relations and Programs Manager for the Food Bank. "It's from Nabisco,
Keebler, Kellogg's, and places like that."
What's called the "center of the plate" -- fruits, vegetables, meats -- was
also included with the dried goods donated. But that product was provided
today by Project I:61, a local ministry that already has their own monthly
"We've changed how we operate," said I:61 pastor Dennis Rehder. "We
couldn't impact that many people [out of our church.] We only saw 110
families. But with the amount of resources we have, helping here instead
goes six times further."
The I:61 projects hopes to keep donating to these large-scale food pantry
operations, enough so that there could possibly be one every other month.
Tonja Funch is more hopeful, asking any companies interested to coordinate
with her for donations, and they can come to Gillette every month this
summer for people in need.
"Each person who is going through this line is getting between 30 and 35
pounds of food," Funch said. "The way that works out is about 19 cents a
pound. And you can't walk in to your local grocery store and purchase food
Forty volunteers gathered in the Home Depot parking lot at noon today to
help dole out 2400 meals to local residents. There were no restrictions or
questions asked, everyone that showed up was helped. By the time County 17
was there, 300 families had passed through the line in under an hour.
"We want to give out hope," said Rehder. "There's more to it than just hard
The food bank will be distributing about 16,000 pounds of food in Douglas
on Monday, May 16th.
If you'd like to contribute help to the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies,
you can contact Tonja Funch at 307-232-4011.