Community participates in Loaves and Fishes


Student council members stand next to Tammy Theil’s car full of food during the Loaves and Fishes rally.


Every year, Powell High School Students and community members come together to raise awareness for the Loaves and Fishes Program in Powell.

Loaves and Fishes is a non-profit organization who donates non-perishable food items to people in the community who are not able to supply themselves. Different organizations and people in the community donate food to Loaves and Fishes, which is located in the Annex building on the north side of Powell.

Care to become involved? The Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes always accepts donations. For more information, contact Cindy Balderas: 307-754-3992 The Powell County Annex: 109 W. 14th St. Powell, WY 307-754-8870”

It began 34 years ago when a group of people decided to come together to provide for the food related needs of the community. Cindy Balderas is currently in the head spokesperson, and has been with Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes since the very beginning.

“We were hoping we would not be needed but unfortunately with the situation in our economy and things to that nature we have continued on for 34 years.” Balderas said. “So we just address hunger in our community and meet the needs of our community.”

In Powell, the community participates in two food drives per year. One drive is held by the Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes in October, and the second is held by the US Postal Service in May. This food drive is held nationally, including areas around Wyoming, such as Cody.

Specifically from Powell High School four student groups collected food for Loaves and Fishes the night of October 18: National Honor Society, FFA, Student Council and Skills USA. From 6 to 8:30, these students were walking the streets of Powell looking for anyone who would be willing to donate food items.

According to Mrs. Balderas, the students and community members benefit from the food drive as much as the ones who are not able to afford food.

“I’m hoping that they are learning that it just takes a community to satisfy the needs of the community,” Balderas said. “So I just want them to get community spirit out of it so that they’ll just pass it on.”

As far as a turnout, this year was fantastic and surpassed last year by a landslide.

“We had a lovely turnout this year,” Balderas said. “The night of the drive we had 68 hundred pounds come in, but we’ve had additional poundage come in since the night of the drive.”

The drive ended up collecting over 7,000 pounds of food, when last year the Powell Valley Loaves’ and Fishes Pantry did not come close to 7,000.

All of the food collected by student council fills up the entirety of Tammy Theil’s car.

This year, at least a hundred Powell High School students participated with Loaves and Fishes, which shows the eagerness of the students to help out the people of Powell. The pantry at the Public Health Building  will always accept donations, and greatly appreciates the love coming from the community.