Constitutional officers encourage Kentuckians to help solve hunger

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Kentucky Hunger Initiative
Kentucky Hunger Initiative

Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, Attorney General Andy Beshear, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Auditor Mike Harmon and Treasurer Allison Ball spent the morning at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday rallying Kentuckians to join the fight against hunger.

According to the Map the Meal Gap report, one in six Kentuckians is food-insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy, active lifestyle. Children are disproportionately impacted by hunger; more than 1 in 5 of children in Kentucky struggle with hunger.

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Commissioner Quarles gave an update of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) Hunger Initiative and urged all Kentuckians to help fight hunger.

Every Kentucky taxpayer who receives an income tax refund may check a box on line 39e of their tax return to designate part of the refund to go to the KDA’s Farms to Food Banks trust fund. In 2018 state income taxpayers donated nearly $19,000.00 to the fund. The fund is also supported by an appropriation of $500,000/year in the state budget. In 2018, 350 Kentucky farmers from 64 counties provided over 3 million pounds of Kentucky-grown fruits and vegetables through Feeding Kentucky’s Farms to Food Banks program. That is the equivalent of filling half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for over 5 million meals.