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First Lady Jennie Gordon built a garden box with Wind River Grow Our Own in Riverton today

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 12:02 AM CDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

First Lady Jennie Gordon toured Fremont County today, and stopped at the community gardens on the CWC campus. She was a good sport and had some fun building a garden box with reclaimed wooden fencing, taught by the nonprofit, Wind River Grow Our Own 307.

In collaboration with several nonprofits, the First Lady is helping Fremont County ‘Grow a Little Extra,’ under the Wyoming Hunger Initiative for those in need.

“I got to build a garden box myself, and Reno and Conrad who helped me are probably glad all their fingers are still there,” joked Gordon. She added, “just really being able to see Wyoming’s solutions to challenges such as hunger is really important, and I think on the reservation helping folks be able to provide for themselves is so important to have that.”

Under the First Lady’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative, Wind River Grow Our Own 307 was given an infrastructure grant to build garden boxes last year. This year, Wind River Grow Our Own received funds through “Grow a Little Extra,” which is a collaboration with Cent$ible Nutrition and the University of Wyoming Extension to encourage local growing efforts. Some of those funds were used for garden plots at the CWC Community Garden to grow food for those in need.

“I think it’s super important for people not only to be able to grow their own food but also preserve it, cook it well, and have that nutrition. I think that’s what we’ve learned in this pandemic, that it could be, you come into the grocery store and it’s gone,” explained the First Lady regarding the importance of food soverignity.

Cent$ible Nutrition will help allocate the fresh produce that has been grown in the plots. “Donating that produce to anti-hunger agencies, food pantries, so that people were able to get healthier donations at food pantries,” stated Mindy Meuli, UW Extension Cent$ible Nutrition Program Director.

Darrah Perez-Good Voice Elk, co-founder of Wind River Grow Our Own invited the First Lady to the community gardens, and has been trying to serve as many people as possible with the skills to grow their own food. “We have a big community and we’re trying to serve and help everyone, so we brought on Dana Hinkle, she’s our master gardener. She’s been reaching out to people to make sure that everyone’s needs are taken care of,” added Perez-Good Voice Elk.

The First Lady will be visiting other agencies in Fremont County tomorrow.

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