Wyoming Food for Thought Project was established in 2012 to meet the demand of 3,000 food insecure children in Natrona County by providing a free, confidential, year-round weekend food program to those in need.
At the time of our inception, we starting feeding 175 kids.
The intention from the very beginning was to send out locally-made foods in our food bags, as a healthier food alternative to what was (and still is) readily available and affordable for us to send out at our current capacity.
In spring of 2013, we were approached by the Downtown Casper Community Farmers Market Board regarding an opportunity to take over management of their summer farmers market. In our minds, we thought we were going to meet all of these amazing local growers and producers with an abundance of local food that we could put in our food bags!
Even if we put local fresh produce or value-added items in once a month, that would be better than nothing, right?
Well, we quickly learned that there was too high of a demand for local food, and little to no leftover produce up for grabs at the end of the market night.
Although we couldn't aggregate local food for our food bags, this spoke volumes to the demand for local food in our community, so we started hosting a winter farmers market, creating Casper's first year-round farmers market opportunity for producers and consumers.
Then, in May of 2013, we decided to throw out a few seeds and stick a "Food is Free Community Garden" sign in the dilapidated flower bed in front of our old office space in the former Hillcrest Water Building.
We heard concerns around, "what happens if people take the food?!?" but is it considered stealing if the food is free?
That summer, plants were watered, weeds were pulled and produce was picked...by who, we're not sure, but it felt like a success to us.
In 2014, we moved to the former Winter Memorial Church in north Casper, the current location for our Program Center and Urban Farm. We packed bags, managed our markets and planted in the existing 33 beds on site. Since moving to this location, you can now find over 100 garden beds on sites, including a high tunnel for season extension and the infrastructure of our four-season greenhouse.
Good Food Hub
The Good Food Hub is a culmination of ideas and resoluations