Regional meeting is third of 10 to be held across the Commonwealth
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 7, 2016) —The Kentucky Hunger Task Force met with advocates for the hungry at God’s Pantry Food Bank to learn what is being done at the local level to combat food insecurity in the Lexington area in the third of 10 regional meetings Thursday.
“These regional meetings will give the task force a clearer picture of the need as well as actions being taken locally to meet the need,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles told the crowd of about 65 people. “With this information, the task force can develop measurable, attainable goals for reducing hunger in Kentucky and a plan of action to achieve those goals.”
“It is important to have this conversation about hunger, as 1 in 6 Kentuckians struggle to secure enough food to live a healthy, active life,” said God’s Pantry CEO Marian Guinn. “God’s Pantry Food Bank is pleased to partner with Commissioner Quarles in hosting opportunities for this conversation in the hope that solutions can be identified.”
Guinn said God’s Pantry serves more than 190,000 people in central and eastern Kentucky each year, including 50,500 children and 33,800 senior citizens. In the past year, Guinn said, well over half of God’s Pantry’s clients had to choose between food and utilities, transportation, medicine, or housing. One-third of its clients were employed in the past year, and 44 percent hold a high school diploma or GED. Guinn said God’s Pantry served more than 21 million pounds of food in the 2016 fiscal year.
The Hunger Task Force is part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative, a first-of-its-kind effort to alleviate food insecurity in Kentucky. The objectives of the Hunger Task Force will be to study the sources of hunger, identify the unique issues that affect different regions of the Commonwealth, and take an inventory of resources that can be brought to bear against the hunger problem in Kentucky.
For more information about the Hunger Task Force and the Hunger Initiative, go to kyagr.com/hunger.