SHERIDAN — The People Assistance Food Bank in Sheridan is dropping its largest food provider following a disagreement about a contract and a donation.
PAFB manager Dan Lick said he will no longer be doing work with Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies. This came after the company refused to give People Assistance a $1,000 donation, from a third party, unless an agency agreement was made, which stated the two companies would be partners.
“They essentially stole $1,000 from us,” Lick said.
Tonja Funch, agency relations manager for Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies, said the money wasn’t a direct donation to the Sheridan food bank.She said the donation was for food to be purchased from Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies by People Assistance Food Bank.
Funch said in order for food to be purchased from WFBOTR, the agency agreement needs to be signed first.
Similar agreements, Funch said, have been signed by almost 250 other agencies across the state.
“We’ve been getting bad press about it because people are saying we won’t donate food to Sheridan,” Funch said.
PAFB has signed an agreement before, but a change in the language is keeping them from wanting to sign it again.
“They’re telling us they’re not going to give (anything) unless we become their partner,” Lick said.
He said PAFB is a nonprofit that doesn’t want oversight from another organization, which is why they won’t sign the agreement.
“They’ve just been a thorn in my side for years and I just don’t need it anymore,” Lick said of WFBOTR.
While the two agencies don’t do business, the approximately 220,000 pounds of food meant for Sheridan yearly will not be distributed.
In order to combat that, Lick said PAFB is looking for another food provider, while continuing to receive food from locals and local agencies.
But he said what’s coming in will not be enough; even with the food from WFBOTR there wasn’t enough to go around.
“We’re still seeing 150 people a day,” Lick said. “No matter how much we get, it’s not enough.”
And as People Assistance looks for a new food provider, WFBOTR Executive Director Shanna Harris said they are looking for a new way to distribute the food to Sheridan.
Harris said they are talking about setting up a mobile pantry, but there is nothing firm yet because they will likely need locals to organize it.
And while the two organizations look for new methods of getting and giving food, some people won’t have any.
“There will be a shortage of food in Sheridan County,” Harris said.