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June 3, 2020

Wyoming Offers Winning Solution to Ending Food Insecurity

By Larry Keane

Wyoming’s First Lady Jennie Gordon is leading the charge to end hunger in the Cowboy State. Turns out, she knows just who to ask to be part of the answer. It’s hunters.

First Lady Gordon is teaming up with Wyoming’s Game and Fish Commission to raffle off two separate once-in-a-lifetime Commissioner Tags to support Food from the Field, a program that enables hunters to share their harvest with those in need of food. It’s a venture that’s similar to hunter donation programs in other states, but in Wyoming it’s going to the next level.

As much as hunter donation programs provide to community food pantries, this one is offering something back to the hunting community. A Wyoming Commissioner’s tag gives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a Wyoming deer, antelope, or elk tag in any open unit with any legal means across the state. That’s being offered out to hunters in two separate raffle drawings.

Hunting Solutions

It’s all part of the Wyoming Hunger Initiative, which was launched in 2019 by First Lady Gordon. She started Wyoming Hunger Initiative to address concerns of food insecurity in her state. For her, it’s simple. Wyoming is what she describes as a “magical place” that’s been blessed with ample wildlife. The resources to tackle concerns of food need for her Wyoming neighbors are right there within the state’s borders.

“We find solutions to challenges and pride ourselves on taking care of our neighbors,” First Lady Gordon explained in an introductory video. “I launched the Wyoming Hunger Initiative because over 70,000 of our Wyoming neighbors experience food insecurity.  That’s not okay with us.”

What started out as an issue in need of resolution is turning into a unique opportunity for sportsmen and women. It’s what First Lady Gordon calls a “Wyoming solution to hunger” and the program is called Food from the Field. Wyoming Hunger Initiative has teamed up with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies, and participating processors to streamline game meat donation to food pantries statewide. Hunters are invited to donate a portion or all of the wild game harvested to Food from the Field through local processors. All deer, elk, and moose will undergo appropriate CWD testing to ensure safety prior to entering the food bank system. If able, hunters are encouraged to contribute to the processing costs.

Wyoming resorces

“Wyoming is a land of incredible outdoor opportunity and wildlife resources,” explained Brian Nesvik, Director of Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “Generations of hunters, who take their responsibility as stewards of the land very seriously, pursue the chase and give thanks for what it provides. We’re excited to invite hunters to donate part, or all of their game to Food from the Field.”

How it Works

But this year, First Lady Gordon is upping the ante for hunters.

“Wyoming Hunger Initiative will be raffling off two Wyoming Game & Fish Department Commissioner tags to assist with processing fees of donated game,” First Lady Gordon explained in an email exchange. “Commissioner tags deliver a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for hunters to experience hunting in the area of their choice. The recipients of these licenses may designate the specific hunt area in which they want the license issued.”

Wyoming Hunt

The proceeds of the raffle are to ensure the longevity of Food from the Field program, covering the meat processing costs in instances where hunters aren’t able to donate both the game meat and fees.

Getting involved is easy. Raffle tickets are $100 each and only 300 tickets will be sold. The first tag raffle is live and tickets may be purchased by visiting Wyoming Hunger Initiative’s website. The first raffle will remain open until 11:00 AM on June 12. A second drawing for the second Commissioner’s tag will open for entries on June 15 and the drawing for that tag will be held July 10.

Learn more about Wyoming Hunter Initiative’s Food from the Field program at their website, Hunters need to hurry. Tickets will close out on June 12 for the first drawing.

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Tags: food insecurity game meat hunger hunting wyoming

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