The Kentucky Beef Council and The Dairy Alliance teamed up to donate 48,000 Kentucky Proud beef burgers and 114,000 slices of cheese to Feeding Kentucky, announced Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
He noted May is also Beef Month in Kentucky, saying, “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than the announcement that burgers and cheese slices are on their way to hungry Kentuckians. This announcement is just another example of how the Kentucky Hunger Initiative has brought our agricultural community together during this trying time for our state and nation.”
The beef burgers were purchased from Beef Solutions LLC, which produces Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef, and was ground and packaged by Creation Gardens of Louisville. Kroger donated the cheese as part of the grocer’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Initiative. The product will be delivered to God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington next week, then distributed to all seven of Feeding Kentucky’s member food banks.
“Kentucky food banks often see limited donations of meat protein and dairy products that can be delivered to pantries serving those who are hungry,” said Michael Halligan, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank. “The COVID-19 crisis has increased food insecurity across the commonwealth. Many are hungry for the first time.”
The Kentucky Beef Council and The Dairy Alliance raised funds to purchase ground beef and dairy products, with the support from Farm Credit Mid-America, and Central Kentucky Ag Credit. Feeding Kentucky matched the funds designated for supporting Kentucky farmers for distribution through the food bank network.
The closure of schools, businesses and other organizations due to the coronavirus pandemic has led to an estimated 35 percent increase in hunger in Kentucky, according to Feeding America. The state affiliate, Feeding Kentucky, reports Kentucky households with children are more likely to be food insecure.
The Kentucky Hunger Initiative was launched in 2016 by Commissioner Quarles to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders and government entities to reduce hunger in Kentucky.