First Lady Gordon tours new Boys & Girls Club

Jennie Gordon chats with Boys & Girls Club kitchen staff member Shawna Towner while Aidan Morgan (left) and Tryten Patterson make fruit salad using new cookware purchased with Gordon’s grant funds.

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon toured the Boys & Girls Club of Douglas Monday to to see how the center was using a $2,000 grant her office had recently given the organization to help combat childhood hunger.

Her verdict? Very well.

“It’s exciting to see the grant come to fruition, and put to good use,” Gordon said on Monday as a group of kids used the equipment to make fruit salad and pasta.

Gordon issued the grant in May through her office’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative, which has donated about $50,000 worth of infrastructure grants to groups throughout the state like food pantries and other anti-hunger organizations since the initiative was launched last October.

She has also donated about $160,000 in food to various groups since the spring through its coronavirus relief program.

Each year, more than 70,000 Wyoming residents either do not have access to healthy and nutritious food or skip meals to make ends meet, the WHI website stated.

At the Boys & Girls Club, the funds were used to purchase pots, pans and other cookware for their new kitchen. The initiative’s infrastructure grants are intended to help support the longevity and operations of food organizations.

So far, the Boys & Girls Club has fed 50-60 children daily this summer and has more than 120 youth registered for their summer programming, CEO Michelle Carter said.

The organization was particularly grateful for the grant given the pandemic, which forced the club to cancel its annual spring fundraiser. The club opened its new center on North Riverbend Drive in June.

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