TORRINGTON – 30-year-old county staple, Land of Goshen Ministries (LOGM), continues to live up to its namesake and its commitment to the residents of Goshen County; the nonprofit is holding an on-site silent vintage auction, preparing to give out boxes of holiday food, has a new Facebook page and a new look inside its store; however, they still need volunteers.
LOGM Board Chairman David Kendall said: “We’ve had a lot of wonderful community support – both financially and with donations for our pantry as well as the thrift store – however, we are always looking for volunteers and ongoing donations so that we can continue to serve our community.
Now in its 30th year of operation, LOGM praises its current volunteers. “We are still in the market and need to add additional volunteers because we are a 100% volunteer organization and we serve approximately 100 families each month,” Kendall said.
The non-profit organization currently serves between 80 and 100 Goshen County families per month from its own food pantry, however, the organization no longer offers government-supplied food boxes, it depends therefore strongly both volunteers, financial donations and food and/or thrift stores.
Currently, in its monthly food boxes, which are available during the third week of the month, the organization includes: spaghetti and sauce; canned vegetables; canned fruit; cereal; soup; eggs; bread; Peanut Butter; Tuna; mac and cheese or other pasta; and an assortment of meat that is usually donated or purchased at reduced prices. Currently, the pantry is stocked with beef from several donations.
For a brief period, the boxes will also include potatoes from the second annual potato harvest at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) in Lingle.
“The Potato Harvest is a partnership between two University of Wyoming extension programs, SAREC and the Hundred$ible Nutrition Program (CNP), as well as the Wyoming Food Bank,” the spokeswoman explained. from UW SAREC, Brooke Ortel. “The goal is to provide Wyoming-grown produce to families facing food insecurity.”
See a precedent Lingle Guide story for more information on the SAREC potato harvest.
In an effort to continue supporting families in need, LOGM is hosting a silent auction of vintage items on-site at their recently updated store/pantry, 801 W. Valley Road, Torrington; while most of the items are vintage, there are a few non-vintage items, like a new pressure cooker.
LOGM said the silent auction was the brainchild of one of its volunteers to help the ministry do more to help families amid rising inflation and rising grocery prices.
“The current silent auction is a concept that one of our volunteers came up with – which will go a long way in helping our community due to rising grocery prices and their continued increase due to current inflation,” said Kendall at Guide.
LOGM Executive Director Judy Chaffin and Kendall shared how the organization is keen to source local produce for its pantry at Main Street Market and sometimes Fresh Foods; profits from his thrift store are used to restock his pantry.
There are three freezers and a large fridge to keep food at appropriate temperatures, but the non-profit advises that all frozen food must be frozen when they come to donate or they cannot accept.
The non-profit organization said it was important to support the local community who continue to support the ministry and its efforts to support families in need.
Kendall said the nonprofit has a new Facebook page called “Land of Goshen Thrift Store” because the organization is unable to access its old account and advises residents to visit its new one. page for up-to-date information.
As the nonprofit prepares to start handing out holiday food boxes, it also recently revamped its thrift store. In addition to hosting the silent auction of vintage items in its store, LOGM Thrift Shop is also getting into the holiday spirit with Halloween and Christmas decorations, clothing and sundries.
Starting the week of November 14, LOGM will begin distributing its Thanksgiving food boxes to local families in need. However, the organization said it still needed and was accepting food donations to prepare at least 100 Thanksgiving meals, including larger turkeys for large families.
LOGM will announce more information regarding its holiday food box as Thanksgiving approaches.
However, LOGM said the majority of its fresh meat, fruit and vegetable supplies have come from local producers lately at discounted prices or as donations.
Some producers who donated to LOGM were from some of the county’s younger residents.
Recently, 9-year-old Eli Case donated his 4-H Market Pork to LOGM and the Goshen County Senior Friendship Center.
Earlier this summer, Eli participated in Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon’s 4-H Wyoming Hunger Initiative Fair to Fork program, where he was recognized by First Lady and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon at the Wyoming State Fair. .
Chubs, Eli’s 8-month-old American Berkshire pig, which was featured at the state fair, was donated to local nonprofits.
Torrington’s parents Paul and Beth Case, who described themselves as Eli’s ‘bonus mum’, said: “We’re very proud of where he chose to donate the meat to – we gave him some choices to choose from, and he chose the friendship center here in Torrington.
When asked why he chose the Friendship Centre, Eli said, “I wanted to give meat to people who didn’t have it or didn’t have a lot of food, and when I thought, I knew it was old people like grandmothers and grandfathers that we love.”
“Eli attends Lincoln Heights Elementary in Scottsbluff and just finished freshman year in 4-H,” Beth said. “Eli has also been involved in other market pig projects, such as pig raising, market beef, woodworking, welding, as well as food and nutrition projects.”
When asked what was the most memorable part of being involved with this project, Eli said: “Helping raise Chubs – he’s a black and white American Berkshire – but it’s a lot of hard work and I wanted to show all the children that even us children can help.
“I want to thank you for supporting us, the kids of 4-H and the Fair to Fork program, so we can feed more people in our community,” Eli added.
Eli showed a total of five pigs at this year’s fair, one of which was the grand champion boar, he also had a large reserve gilt, placed in the middle of the class for the market and stood ranked sixth in directing.
Eli said the best part about living on a farm and helping raise animals is “we can eat them – and we can ride a four-wheeler!”
Like the SAREC program, the Farm to Fork program is also part of a University of Wyoming outreach program attended by Goshen County residents young and old.
First Lady Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative is a partnership with Wyoming 4-H and FFA, which was officially launched at the Wyoming State Fair.
The program purchases a hog from each county in Wyoming through lottery selection to support youth development.
“Being a farmer myself, my initial vision for the Wyoming Hunger Initiative was to encompass a component of agriculture that would be part of the solution to food insecurity in our state,” Jennie Gordon said in a press release. . “I’m more than excited to bring young people into the equation, as they care about agriculture and want to give back to their communities. »
According to Gordon, the ultimate goal of this program, and many others like it, is to use Wyoming growers and produce to help address food insecurity in the state on a local level.
Currently, Eli is helping raise another 3-year-old American Berkshire named “Big boy”, who he hopes will do more pigs and eventually “eat him, bacon and other meats”.
When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Eli replied, “A farmer, like my dad, but I also want to keep helping people with food.”
Eli’s father Paul said: “I would like to encourage other families and children to get involved for next year and know that any contribution they can make goes a long way towards helping our local community.”
“I’m very proud of Eli and his work in this program, I can’t wait to see what he does next year – but most of all, I’m proud that he made the decision to donate his pig at the Friendship Centre.” Added Paul Case.
“Eli made me teary eyed and so proud of his generosity and heart. I couldn’t be more proud of him and his desire to help the elderly and those struggling to put food on the table,” Beth Case added.
For more information, visit www.nohungerwyo.org.