Wyoming Food for Thought Project provides many different services, resources, and educational opportunities to help fill gaps in the hunger safety net within our community.
PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
We use the resources available to us to create sustainable change. The following programs & resources exist to allow anyone to access help without justifying their need. Plus, when people experience the food system, they feel more empowered to be in charge of how they access food and thereby alleviate their own poverty.
Food Bag Program
The Food for Thought Food Bag Program is a year-round program that primarily provides children in need with a kid-friendly breakfast, lunch and dinner item for every day they are out of school. We also send out various snacks and other additions, such as donated bread and bagels or fresh produce.
WHEN WYFFTP BEGAN IN 2012, WE WERE DELIVERING FOOD BAGS TO LESS THAN 200 CHILDREN IN THE COMMUNITY. NOW WE DELIVER 1200 BAGS PER WEEK.
During the school year, we work with the Natrona County School District through advocates in each school to target and identify children that would most benefit from the program. During the summer, we partner with each Boys and Girls Club site, the YMCA, and the Rec Center to continue providing our weekend food bags.
We are working to create a community where everyone has access to local & healthy food. Our goal is to revive a sense of self-sustainability throughout the community by educating on the benefits of buying and producing seasonally local and organic food.
Our program center is surrounded by fresh food growing right on our property in raised garden beds, high tunnels, and more. We also engage in a number of sustainable practices like raising chickens on our property, collecting and using composting material, maintaining worm bins for the compost, and collecting water in our rain barrels.
We educate children and other community members on urban gardening through demonstration gardens and our garden education program.
Local Food System
From wanting local food in our weekend food bags, to growing our own food and turning it into value-added items, managing a shared-commercial kitchen and dreams of a grocery store in north Casper, we have always known that our ultimate goal has revolved around strengthening our Local Food System.
But even then, it's bigger than that.
It's creating a statewide effort around cultivating local growers and small businesses dedicated to their craft, and enabling accessibility to those items throughout Wyoming. It's creating affordability and convenience for the customer, as well as profitability and sustainability for the producer.
You can taste the significant difference between a fresh tomato grown with love and a tomato bought from the store - honestly, it makes your mouth water just thinking about it right?
To learn more about our commercial kitchen, learn more below.
Wyoming Food for Thought Project opened a Free Store in north Casper on August 11, 2019 at the old Roosevelt High School, 140 East K Street.
The concept is not new, but it is new to Casper.
While there are church closets available to those in need, there is no place open to everyone, no questions asked.
The Free Store is here for everyone.
To learn more about the Free Store, click the button below.
Other Projects & Resources
Find a Tool Library at our Program Center! Just as a public library or the Seed Library, a tool-lending library has a large collection of tools – gardening tools, woodworking tools, home repair tools, and more. Once you join a tool library, you can simply check out any of these tools whenever necessary.
Tool library's have many benefits, which includes: saving money, saving space, sharing knowledge, protecting the environment, building community.
Little Free Pantry
We are now set up with our own Little Free Pantry next to the Bus Stop located at our Program Center. Through this vessel, we aim to provide a no-questions-asked, dignified, and confidential way of getting what you need, when you need it.
Little Free Library
Find a Little Free Library at our program center. Little Free Library "inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world."
Wyoming Food for Thought Project now offers a Seed Library at our office. All seeds are free, no questions asked. People are encouraged to save seeds and “return” to the seed library at the end of the season.
Seed saving is very important because you:
Know where your food is coming from
Develop seeds that become acclimated to our local climate and more pest resistant
Become less dependent on large food producers and save yourself money
Although we are not a food pantry, we do, on occasion, have people stop by our office looking for food assistance.
But instead of turning those people away, we offer pantry boxes, as well as an emergency resource sheet, that utilizes food donations that cannot be used in our weekend food bags and directs them to resources that can be of more assistance.
Compost & Worms
We collect and maintain our own compost to help us further sustain our urban gardening efforts. A compost heap is available for all to contribute to and then use the soil grown for themselves.
We also currently have two worm bins that are growing red wiggler worms and compost from food scraps.
Good, hearty soil is the key to growing healthy plants. By growing our own soil, not only will we cut down on the costs of purchasing soil, but our plants will produce better, and we may hopefully one day create an income from selling the soil we make.
Wyoming Food for Thought Project began rescuing food from Sodexo at Casper College in Summer 2015, that would normally have gone to waste. We then came across a national organization called The Campus Kitchens Project, and in partnership with Casper College, were approved to implement this program at Casper College in the Fall of 2016.
The Campus Kitchens Project now rescues food from Sodexo, packs them into TV-style dinners, and distributes them through various organizations in Casper, and what they can't take, comes to us.
We would love to expand our food rescue efforts to other restaurants throughout Casper. If you or someone you know would be interested in partnering with us, get a hold of us.
Wyoming Food for Thought Project is now offering our sanctuary space as a place the community can use to host birthday parties, meetings and more.
The space is open and well lit, and has a stage area, bathroom accessibility, and a projector for a movie or games. We can also supply tables and chairs.
Contact us for more information regarding pricing, availability and more.