Welcome to our series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
For this week’s #WHYoming, I had a chance to talk with Kathy Siler, the Director of the Food Bank of Sweetwater County. Kathy has worked at the food bank for 16 years, 15 of which as the director. Kathy understands the importance of the work the food bank does, as she got her job after seeking food assistance for her own family in 2004. Kathy loves her job and enjoys food distribution days in which the food bank makes a direct difference in local lives. It’s a great feeling to know that amazing people like Kathy live in our community.
During the holiday season, the number of people seeking food assistance increase by about 50 percent, so it is more important now than ever to donate what we can to help out. For anyone interested in helping out, information can be found on the Food Bank of Sweetwater County website.
Kathy, how long have you been director at the Food Bank of Sweetwater County?
I have been the Director at the food bank for 15 years, and before that I was the Assistant at the food bank for one year.
What do you enjoy about your job? How did get involved in working at the food bank?
I enjoy food distribution days the most. It’s rewarding to be able to help people. I came to the food bank in 2004 looking for some assistance with food for my family. The director offered me a temporary part-time job. My aunt and uncle were working at the food bank at the time. They retired and then the director asked me if I was interested in the assistant position. The food bank board then hired me as the assistant.
What does your job entail?
My job entails a lot of planning, reporting, budgeting and funding requests.
Can you tell me about the increased need during the holiday season?
During the holidays our numbers increase by about 50 percent. This means the amount food we distribute also increases by 50 percent.
We still need all of the basic food items like canned meats, canned dinners, canned fruits, canned vegetables, condiments, side dishes and cereal. Our food supplies decrease rapidly during the holiday months. We ask people to drop off nonperishable food items at the local library or to mail a check to 90 Center Street, Rock Springs WY 82901.
They can also donate online at our website www.foodbankswcty.org. With our purchasing power, we can buy four meals for every dollar. We are trying to go contactless during the pandemic.
How did you end up in Green River?
My parents moved us here in October of 1978. My dad went to work in the oilfield here.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
We live in one of the most caring and giving communities. I have noticed that if there is a need in the community, the community comes through.
What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy playing video games, coloring and reading.
What’s something unique about you?
I became a grandma for the first time in December of 2019.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Be kind to everyone, we never know what someone may be going through that they keep to themselves.
Where are some of your favorite places to hang out in Sweetwater County?
I really enjoy going anywhere on the Green River. I like the fresh air and the sound of water.
Would you rather walk, take a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
If I could, I would walk more. I am unable to walk very far due to health problems. When I was young I walked and rode bikes. Now I drive a car everywhere.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
I would not sing karaoke. I do not enjoy singing in front of crowds. I do love to listen to music. I like all kinds of music from classic rock, country, alternative, grunge, blues, jazz and some rap music.
How would your friends describe you?
I hope they think I am nice.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
My proudest accomplishment is raising three children with my husband.
Who would you want to play in a movie about your life?
Kaley Cuoco, because I liked her in the Big Bang Theory.
Why do you choose to continue living in Wyoming?
I have a lot of great memories in Wyoming. It’s a great place to live. I have made a lot of friends here. You do have to be tough to endure the long cold winters though.