Grant awarded to help Ky. farmers, those hungry

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BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Association of Food Banks was recently awarded a $15,000 grant to help Kentucky farmers recover losses for their unmarketable produce this growing season while helping their neighbors in need.

The grant is made possible by the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, a component fund at The Community Foundation.

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The intent of the Farms to Food Banks program is to increase access to nutritious produce among Kentuckians who are facing hunger, while at the same time supporting farmers and reducing the amount of wasted food.

This is fresh, healthy food that would otherwise go to waste due to a lack of market for it.

Granted funds will help Kentucky farmers recoup losses associated with the harvest and delivery of their surplus and Number-2 grade produce.

In 2018 alone, over 3.1 million pounds of fresh produce and 270 dozen eggs were distributed across the state. This nutritious food came from 349 farmers from 64 Kentucky counties.

“Through this grant, the Kentucky Association of Food Banks will be able to distribute approximately 75,000 pounds of fresh, Kentucky-grown produce through our food bank network,” said Sarah Vaughn, the programs coordinator.

Vaughn says that amount is the equivalent of filling half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for 125,000 meals for those who are sometimes unsure as to where their next meal is coming from.

Participation in the Farms to Food Banks program is open to any Kentucky farmer. For more information about the Farms to Food Banks program, click HERE or call 859-986-7422.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!