First Lady Jennie Gordon is preparing to launch the Wyoming Hunger Initiative, her official initiative as the First Lady of Wyoming.
Long before becoming the First Lady, she learned from a friend about the existence of several Sheridan County children struggling with food insecurity; this conversation sparked awareness and interest in the issue of child hunger in Wyoming that has remained with her as a pressing concern.
Since becoming First Lady, Mrs. Gordon has spent a significant amount of time on the road learning about the organizations and frameworks in place around the state that combat hunger in Wyoming. She has visited the Food Group in Sheridan, volunteered through the Friday Food Bag Foundation in Cheyenne to pack backpacks, toured the Wyoming Food for Thought Project in Casper, had “breakfast after the bell” with students in Laramie County, visited mobile food pantries in Gillette, and joined a task force in conjunction with the Wyoming Department of Education to pursue breakfast program enrollment strategies around the state.
“I am not interested in reinventing the wheel but rather in making a difference for kids in Wyoming. If I can shed light on the work that is currently being done and bring organizations together to direct attention to a united effort, that is my ultimate goal,” said Mrs. Gordon.
The Wyoming Governor’s Residence Foundation Board works closely with the First Lady to ensure small projects around the facilities can be funded; it also provides support for the First Lady’s Initiative. The First Lady has recently announced her new Board members, a group of individuals chosen with each new administration. The new Board will focus on supporting the work of Wyoming Hunger Initiative, a nonprofit, bipartisan organization that will work to fight food insecurity for Wyoming children and families. Members include: Susan Samuelson, Kathryn Boswell, Annemarie McCracken Picard, Diane Asay, and Alfrieda Gonzales, all of Cheyenne; Lynn Kirkbride, Chugwater; Paty Gierau, Jackson; Joann Skeim-True, Casper; Ashlee Lundvall, Cody; Deb Wendtland, Sheridan and Laurie Box, Saratoga.
“I chose my Board based on the expertise that they could bring to the Initiative as well as residence improvements. I wanted the entire state of Wyoming to feel represented,” said Mrs. Gordon.
A gift from the 2019 Inauguration Committee and funds raised at the 2019 First Lady’s Luncheon are helping launch the Initiative; the Board will continue to focus efforts to raise funds for the Initiative that will be turned into grants available for organizations and school districts throughout Wyoming.