Food insecurity has become a growing topic of concern during times of the novel coronavirus, with many food insecure people further debilitated by the financial and accessibility challenges it presents.
Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies has been working since the onset of the pandemic to continue their mission of providing food to all 23 Wyoming counties. Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is responsible for providing more than 8 million meals a year and over 23,000 meals each day.
In times of social distancing, however, their approach has shifted from typical operations and taken the form of a mobile food bank. Last weekend, the mobile food bank served almost 300 families in Guernsey.
On Saturday, the mobile food bank will make its way through Laramie. People looking to receive food should go to the old Wyoming Game and Fish building at 523 South Adams Street from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
To be eligible to receive food, community members must self-declare that they fall within the federal income guidelines, however, no proof of income is required. These guidelines can be found on Laramie Interfaith’s website.
“People don’t really have to worry about that too much,” said Abby Melbye, marketing and outreach coordinator at Laramie Interfaith.
The mobile food bank is staffed completely by volunteers, mainly from volunteers recruited through LASSO Events, a non-profit that facilitates community service in Laramie.
Community members will receive a mix of produce, as well as canned goods and other non-perishable items.
The mobile food bank allows community members to receive food while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.
“It’s just been a drive through. So the volunteers that are all wearing masks and gloves direct the cars in a big line — it’s just like a big assembly line. Cars roll down their windows and we just put a bag of food in their car and they’re on their way,” Melbye said.
Melbye said that Laramie Interfaith has been responsible for spreading the word about the event throughout the community, though the event is put on and hosted by the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies.