Grow A Little Extra- Summer 2021
In April 2021, the First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP), and the University of Wyoming Extension (UWE) partnered to launch a new program called Grow a Little Extra. This collaboration utilizes existing resources to create a sustainable solution to hunger through local food.
“We are excited to be a part of this initiative, and how it will help us continue our work to increase access to healthy foods for people facing food insecurity,” says Mindy Meuli, Director of the CNP. “The Cent$ible Nutrition Program has been working with food pantries to increase healthy food donations and this is a perfect collaboration to provide fresh produce to food pantry patrons.”
Wyoming Hunger Initiative Regional Directors Dr. Caitlin Youngquist, with UW Extension and Lori Dickinson, with CNP in Sheridan County, spearheaded this effort to encourage gardeners to grow a little extra in order to provide produce for their neighbors facing food insecurity. The Grow a Little Extra program encourages participation from home gardeners, existing community gardens who can dedicate one or two sections to grow food speciﬁcally for donation, 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,” says First Lady Jennie Gordon. “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.”
Anyone in the state of Wyoming who enjoys gardening is encouraged to grow an extra row or two and donate the produce to their local CNP educator, who will weigh and distributed it 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 anyone interested in picking them up for free at their local Extension ofﬁce. You can get your free seeds by contacting your local CNP educator for more information. You can also learn more on the Wyoming Hunger Initiative website.
“UW Extension enthusiastically supports Wyoming gardeners, the community gardens across our state, and Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative,” says Kelly Crane, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Director of University of Wyoming Extension. “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.