The Saratoga Sun -

Food on the go

Mobile Wyoming Food Bank makes stops in Medicine Bow


Mike Armstrong

A large group of volunteers line up alongside the mobile food bank during its stop in Medicine Bow Thursday.

Medicine Bow River Ranch sponsored a mobile food bank at Medicine Bow Fire Station 10 a.m. March 17 that provided food for 187 people.

Tonja Funch, the Agency Relations Manager and Program Manager for Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies was pleased with turnout and how smoothly the distribution of food by the volunteers went.

When the Medicine Bow fire station opened to the public for this opportunity for people to get free food, the line was long but moved quickly. Visitors signed in, indicating who was a senior, adult and family as well as family size.

Funch said this information was used only to project how much food to bring when the mobile unit returns to Medicine Bow the next time.

Once signed in, bags were given to customers to fill up with various food. Fresh produce such as kiwis, bananas, spaghetti squash, mixed fresh vegetables and salad greens were available. Cranberry bread, cereal, breakfast sausage, pizzas, soup stocks and Ritz crackers were also offered

Funch said, "The average person takes 30 to 45 pounds of food when they walk out."

There were also bed pillows available until supply ran out.

A patron said she had been coming since last summer.

She said, "This is such a good thing. When you see three or four children with a mother going through the line and the excitement the kids show at getting something they like, it warms your heart."

Funch said anyone from Carbon County is welcome, not just Medicine Bow. She wants all communities to feel gladly received, although the bulk of volunteers come from North Carbon County.

When a truck comes to the community, volunteers are sought. In the case of Medicine Bow, the volunteer Funch said was essential, was the low-key Sister Marie.

She seeks no attention for her work, but Funch said, Sister Marie finds most of the volunteers to man the dispersement for the food stuffs provided.

"The volunteers are amazing. We could not have done this without them," Funch said, "The operation was seamless."

Volunteers such as Travis Hathaway not only helped distribute the food, but also carried bags to vehicles for customers who needed assistance.

Funch said, Medicine Bow was picked because the Tippman Group, who own the Medicine Bow River Ranch and sponsor the mobile unit, realize the struggles some people have living in a small, remote community.

"It has helped my family in ways I can't express," said one of the last customers leaving. "I look forward to it coming next month."

The mobile Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies will be back in Medicine Bow April 21.


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