Food Bank of Wyoming reflects on Culturally Responsive Food Initiative

Food items like milk and vegetables are part of the ideal foods lists that were created as part...
Food items like milk and vegetables are part of the ideal foods lists that were created as part of FBW's Culturally Responsive Food Initative.(Food Bank of Wyoming)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - In the summer of 2020, the Food Bank of Wyoming began its Culturally Responsive Food Initiative. The program is working to address the barriers Hispanic and tribal communities face in receiving resources.

The Culturally Responsive Food Initiative began as a way to provide nutritious foods to communities, and to provide food that was wanted by the communities.

“This initiative was launched to identify some of the barriers... Barriers like language, barriers like the lack of transportation, or the lack of access to traditional food,” said FBW Programs Manager Myriam Wolcott.

The initiative has gained momentum according to Wolcott. FBW has welcomed feedback with the support of the tribal relations specialist. Ideal food lists were created so the food bank and its partners could know what foods people living on the Wind River Indian Reservation wanted most.

Surveys were taken to give FBW an idea of the wants and needs of people on the reservations, then customized food lists were created and sent back to community partners to be vetted. Once approved, the sourcing department worked to find partners that could provide the preferred foods.

In response to the ideal food lists, mobile pantries were set up on the reservation to distribute food to anyone on the reservations that need it.

“This approach has led to the establishment of best practices to raise awareness of the differences that sometimes could impact the clients or the partners to serve their communities,” said Wolcott.

The Food Bank of Wyoming is working closely with its sourcing department to highlight the need for fresh seasonal foods. One of the main goals of the program is to make clients feel respected and to support the partners of the food bank.

“This initiative is also perfectly in line with our mission of service, inclusion, and collaboration. We are here to nourish people facing hunger. We are here to ignite the power of all communities and all backgrounds,” said Wolcott.

For more information on the Culturally Responsive Food Initiative visit the Food Bank of Wyoming website.

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