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Kentucky Nonprofit Network honors members, legislators for public policy efforts

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2014) — Kentucky Nonprofit Network Inc., Kentucky’s state association of charities, recognized nonprofit members and legislative and government officials for their advocacy efforts in 2013 at a recent “More Than Charity” rally in the Capitol Rotunda as part of their ninth annual Kentucky Nonprofit Day at the Capitol.

Receiving the inaugural Nonprofit VOICE Award for demonstrated excellence in public policy were The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, Lexington; Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Frankfort; and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, Berea.

The Prichard Committee and its members from across the commonwealth work as advocates of transforming all levels of public education. In the 2013 General Assembly, the Prichard Committee mobilized its constituents statewide to advocate for the Health Access Nurturing Development Services or HANDS program. HANDS is offered through local health departments and serves overburdened young families by offering them information and support that establishes a foundation for learning. The legislation, which began as Senate Bill 74 and became part of House Bill 366, sought to strengthen and protect the program. It ensures home visiting programs with rigorous requirements for quality and outcomes as well as a coordinated system of care.

Senators Sara Beth Gregory of Monticello, Julie Denton of Louisville and Morgan McGarvey of Louisville were recognized as Nonprofit Advocacy Partners for their efforts in getting the HANDS legislation passed.

Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) was established in 1990 and serves as the statewide coalition of the 13 rape crisis centers in the commonwealth. Its mission is to speak with a unified voice against sexual victimization. In the 2013 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, KASAP and its members successful sought passage of House Bill 3 — the Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act. This bill created a “safe harbor” to ensure that those who are sexually-exploited for commercial gain are treated as victims, not criminals; created a Human Trafficking Victims Fund and ensured improved tools for law enforcement and prosecutors.

Representatives Sannie Overly of Paris and Addia Wuchner of Florence were recognized as Nonprofit Advocacy Partners for their work to support the passage of the Human Trafficking Victims Right Act.

Kentucky Association of Food Banks works to provide food and quality services to increase the capacity of Kentucky’s Feeding America food banks to end hunger in all 120 Kentucky counties.

In 2013, Kentucky Association of Food Banks and its members worked diligently on legislation that would make more food available to low-income Kentuckians by providing an incentive to Kentucky farmers to donate agricultural products to food banks. Farmers donating fruits, vegetables, beef, fish or similar edible agricultural products would receive a credit against their state tax liability. The legislation, which began as House Bill 141, would serve hungry families with a valuable incentive for Kentucky’s farm community and was added to Senate Bill 1 and was signed into law by the governor, creating the Farms to Food Banks program.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes; Representatives Tom McKee of Cynthiana and Mike Denham of Maysville; and Kentucky Department of Agriculture staff members Tina Garland and Bill Wickliffe were recognized as Nonprofit Advocacy Partners for their efforts to secure passage of the Farms to Food Banks legislation.

Kentucky Nonprofit Network Inc. is the state association of charities and exists to serve, strengthen and advance the commonwealth’s nonprofit organizations.