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Bills support Farms to Food Banks

Will help Kentuckians in need receive fresh food

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2014) — Gov. Steve Beshear today joined state officials and community leaders to recognize two bills that support the state’s farm families and food banks.

The budget bill, which provides funding for the Farms to Food Banks initiative, appropriates $1.2 million over the biennium for the Farms to Food Banks program from the Office of Agricultural Policy.

kafb_logo11The initiative provides fresh, healthy produce to Kentuckians in need, while providing additional markets for farmers. Through the project, the Kentucky Association of Food Banks purchases Kentucky-grown surplus and No. 2 produce that is edible but not sellable on the retail market. The produce is distributed at no cost to low-income Kentuckians throughout the food bank network.

Since 2011, Farms to Food Banks has received more than $400,000 in state and county funds from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, including $60,000 in unclaimed Phase II funds.

House Bill 448, which took effect July 15, gives better protection to Kentucky’s landowners by clarifying their legal ability to remove wildlife in the act of causing damage. These nuisance or depredating wildlife, such as deer, can cause significant crop destruction in a short period of time.

After those depredating animals are harvested, property owners may dispose of the carcasses on-site or can donate the meat to be processed and sent to a local food bank.  Food banks often need more protein resources, and this bill allows meat that might otherwise be wasted to be used to help local families.