◆ Sierra Mitchell joins five other state directors appointed by Wyoming’s First Lady.
Star Valley’s Sierra Mitchell is among six individuals across the state who will serve as regional directors of the Wyoming Hunger Initiative.
Mitchell was appointed by Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon. The regional directors will “represent the Initiative across the state.”
According to First Lady Gordon, regional directors will:
• build and connect networks of local anti-hunger organizations;
• and create a platform for communication of innovative ideas to solve food insecurity.
“Regional Directors were chosen to represent a region based on their awareness of food insecurity or role within their community that is directly related to food insecurity,” said First Lady Gordon.
Mitchell was named the Southwest Regional Director which includes Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater and Uinta counties.
Mitchell was instrumental in founding the Afton Food Pantry, which has grown to serve over 11,000 individuals since it opened its doors in 2016.
“I feel honored to have been hand picked by First Lady Jennie Gordon to be director of the Southwest Region on the Wyoning Hunger Task Force,” said Mitchell. “I never would have dreamed that what started as offering up a small box of food weekly, as a way to help those in our community, would have grown into being a director on the First Lady’s task force.”
“I fully believe that if you see a need, start small, but at least start somewhere,” Mitchell continued. “You never know what growth may come and I can tell you I have never stopped being amazed at the giving and heart of a small community when there is a need among it’s community members.”
“As we join forces with other like agencies in neighboring counties, I am excited to see partnerships grow as we all focus on eliminating hunger within our state,” Mitchell said.
Other regional directors around the state include the following.
• Ali Milburn was named the Northwest Regional Director which encompasses Teton County. Milburn is the founder and Executive Director of Hole Food Rescue, an organization dedicated to reducing food waste and cultivating food security.
• Dr. Caitlin Youngquist was named the North Regional Director which includes Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park, and Washakie counties. Youngquist is the Northwest Area Agriculture Educator for the University of Wyoming Extension in Worland.
• Elizabeth Chapell was named the Northeast Regional Director which includes Campbell, Crook, Sheridan, and Weston counties. Chappell works with SNAP and WIC participants through the University of Wyoming Extension Cent$ible Nutrition program and serves as an ambassador for the Gillette Little Free Pantries system.
• Ashley Bright was named the Central Regional Director which includes Converse, Fremont, Johnson, and Natrona counties. Bright has served as the director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming since 1999, and additionally serves on the First Lady’s COVID-19 Task Force.
• Heather Mortensen was named the Southeast Regional Director which includes Albany, Carbon, Goshen, Laramie, Niobrara, and Platte counties. Mortensen was formerly the Food Service Director in Carbon County where she successfully implemented the Summer Meal Program.
According to First Lady Gordon, regional directors “will work closely with the Wyoming Hunger Initiative to seek and facilitate lasting, community-based solutions to the problem of food insecurity.”
• Wyoming Hunger Initiative
Launched in October 2019, the Wyoming Hunger Initiative seeks to “find and support Wyoming solutions to the challenge of food insecurity.”
Food insecurity affects approximately 71,000 residents statewide.
The Wyoming Hunger Initiative is the official initiative of Wyoming’s First Lady Jennie Gordon and is governed by the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Governor’s Residence Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
For more information, visit www.nohungerwyo.org.