First Lady of Wyoming Jennie Gordon on Ending Hunger in Wyoming

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

With just over 580,000 residents, Wyoming is a state where “when you meet someone, it really is about one or two degrees of separation before you are starting to find common friends,” says First Lady of Wyoming, Jennie Gordon. That connectedness makes the knowledge that 1 in 5 children in Wyoming suffer from food insecurity even more personal to the First Lady and the people of Wyoming.

As First Lady, Gordon has made food insecurity a core initiative and launched the Wyoming Hunger Initiative in 2019. The initiative is working with existing organizations in the state to end childhood hunger and food insecurity in Wyoming: “Almost every community had a food pantry…but what they needed was awareness. I wanted to work on raising awareness and finding a Wyoming solution to the [food insecurity] challenges we face in the state,” says Gordon.

In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, Gordon shares how her parents’ experience with food insecurity – her mother grew up in Vienna, Austria during WWII and her father grew up during the depression in a family with 10 children – inspired her commitment to end hunger. She also discusses how programs like “Grow a Little Extra” and “Food from the Field” offer opportunities for the people of Wyoming to share their strength by planting additional crops in their home gardens or streamlining the donation process for game and meat. “In our first year [of Grow a Little Extra], we had over 10,000 lbs. of produce that was donated throughout the state.”

Join us for this conversation about building pathways for neighbors to support neighbors.

Resources and Mentions:

Jennie Gordon

Jennie Gordon

First Lady of Wyoming
Jennie Gordon serves as the First Lady of Wyoming. Prior to that, she managed day-to-day operations at Merlin Ranch, the Gordon family’s cow-calf and heifer development operation located in Johnson County. In October 2019 Jennie launched the Wyoming Hunger Initiative, whose mission is to end childhood hunger in Wyoming. The initiative works to prevent food insecurity by increasing awareness and support for the work of local anti-hunger organizations statewide. Jennie grew up in Omaha, Nebraska until her family moved to Buffalo, Wyoming. Jennie and Governor Mark Gordon have four grown children, Anne, Aaron, Bea, and Spencer.  

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

Launched in 2019, the Wyoming Hunger Initiative's mission is to end childhood hunger in Wyoming by increasing awareness and support for the work of local anti-hunger organizations statewide.

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