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September 5, 2012
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17 percent of Kentuckians do not always know where they will find their next meal

Ag commissioner proclaims September “Farmers and Food Banks Fighting Hunger” Month

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2012) — More than 750,000 people in Kentucky, or 17 percent, do not always know where they will find their next meal, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study. Rates of hunger among children are even higher; 23 percent of Kentucky’s children experience food insecurity.

In response, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced Tuesday the official declaration of September as Farmers and Food Banks Fighting Hunger Month in Kentucky and encouraged all Kentuckians to take action in support of hunger relief. The announcement was made at an event hosted Tuesday by the Kentucky Association of Food Banks in the Capitol Rotunda.

“In these challenging economic times, it is crucial that we refrain from turning a blind eye from the less fortunate in our society,” Comer said. “Programs such as Farm to Food Banks are ones that aid Kentucky farmers by furnishing them with another outlet to sell their commodities while at the same time providing food for the hungry. Therefore, it is an honor for me to proclaim September 2012 as Farmers and Food Banks Fighting Hunger Month in Kentucky.”

Through the Farms to Food Banks program, the Kentucky Association of Food Banks purchases at cost surplus and Number 2-grade produce for distribution free of charge through the food bank network.

In honor of Farmers and Food Banks Fighting Hunger Month, the Kentucky Beef Council announced the launch of a new initiative. Beef Counts KY, a program established and endorsed by the Kentucky Beef Council, will provide a consistent supply of nutrient-rich beef for people facing hunger in Kentucky.

Farmers will have the option of donating cash or donating proceeds from the sale of beef animals to the Beef Counts KY program. Fourteen livestock markets across the state are participating and will forward proceeds from donated beef animals to the Beef Counts KY program. The donations will be used by members of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to supply nutritious beef to struggling Kentuckians.

“Beef Counts KY will make it easy for Kentucky’s beef community to provide beef for other Kentucky families who need help putting nutritious meals on the table right now,” said Chuck Crutcher, chairman of the KBC and Hardin County beef farmer. “Each donated animal or the cash equivalent provides roughly 1,600 servings of high-quality nutrient-rich beef protein. This is a local solution to local hunger.”

“Hunger in Kentucky is closer than most people think,” said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, “but so is the solution. We are especially grateful for Kentucky’s agricultural community for their hard work to end hunger in Kentucky.”

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