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Hunger, food insecurity in Kentucky: What's being done about it?

Posted at 9:02 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 21:13:22-04

September is Hunger Action Month all across America.

Hunger is an issue that Appalachia has faced for decades. 1 in 6 children in Kentucky are food insecure, which means there are days that they don't have access to food.

While thousands of Kentuckians struggle to put food on tables, different segments of our state are working together to try to help.

To help with the effort, today, a Kentucky company stepped up with a huge donation to God's Pantry at their Winchester location. The donation from an Erlanger company was 54,000 pounds of candy.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said, "when you think about how discouraged people have felt... it makes perfect sense."

"Today's donation helps put a smile on so many faces of those who have gone through natural disasters, especially the floods in eastern Kentucky," said Quarles.

Perfetti Van Melle is the confectionary company that came with the donations. "We love to help support families and children in need and what better way to do that than by donating candy that'll bring a smile to kids and families all over Kentucky?" said Perfetti President and CEO Sylvia Buxton.

"It's great being out in our service area and distributing fun treats like this and seeing smile on children's faces and even the parents," said Danielle Bozarth, VP of Mission Delivery at God's Pantry.

According to Feeding America, one in eight people in Kentucky face hunger. In the Kentucky counties served by The Christian Appalachian Project, that number is one in four.

Of all SNAP benefits given in Kentucky, more than 40% of the households include children. Kentucky has the highest rate in the nation for food insecurity among older adults at 17.3 percent, according to Feeding Kentucky.

Before the pandemic, food insecurity among seniors was substantially higher than it was before The Great Recession.

There's reason to believe that next generation of leaders is willing to do something about it. The final total for this year's Hunger Walk for The Christian Appalachian Project was 11,880 pounds of food and donors raised $20,000. The event took place at several area schools and businesses.