Nearly one in five Kentuckians and one in four children don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, said Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Grimes stopped by the Purchase Area Development District office in Mayfield on Monday as part of a statewide kick-off tour for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl. The new hunger-fighting partnership, in conjunction with association food banks, is a competition between area development districts to raise more than $50,000 dollars or 400,000 pounds of food for Kentuckians.
“This is a challenge to help feed our own. We’re helping to feed the nation here in Kentucky and it’s time that we actually help to make sure we can solve a problem that is within our reach right in our own backyard,” Grimes said.
Kentucky Association of Food Banks Executive Director Tamara Sandberg said the organization serves 50,000 people each week and the need is growing. At helpfeedkentucky.com, every dollar donated will translate to eight pounds of food. “And that’s by design. That’s because food banks can use their purchasing power to leverage even more,” she said.
Grimes said she has been working to solve hunger issues since she was a child volunteering at Salvation Army and more recently serving on the board of God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington. She also credited recent legislation and efforts from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Commissioner Ryan Quarles for launching the hunger initiative.
The competition formally begins on October 16. Boxes will be located at city halls and county courthouses where the food will stay in their corresponding communities. A donor can select a specific county online.
According to a Kentucky Association of Food Banks report, the seven participating food banks (which includes the Purchase Area Development District) distributed 58 million meals in 2016.