New map to fight food insecurity in Lexington

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Source: City of Lexington Glean Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Economic fallout from the pandemic has increased food insecurity in Lexington. City officials say community partners are working to help by providing food to those in need through Nourish Lexington.

Two of those partners, FoodChain and Glean Kentucky, have now mapped sites offering immediate resources where people can access pantry items or hot meals without providing any documentation, or going through any screening process. The map is available HERE and will be updated as needed, according to city officials.

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“The partners behind Nourish Lexington have done an incredible job, feeding some 130,000 meals between April and August,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “They have fed everyone from children who aren’t in school, to senior citizens. This map is a big step forward.”

The goal is to make it easy for families to access the food they need. “Through our work delivering produce to local feeding agencies, Glean Kentucky is very aware of the complex web of services that can overwhelm those looking for immediate help,” said Stephanie Wooten, Executive Director, Glean Kentucky. “We were excited to work on a project that sheds light on the resources available to people looking for immediate access to food during the pandemic.”

“As the pandemic has forced us all to adapt to new processes and ways to address need, FoodChain has been focused on how our agency can forge together resources of local ingredients, food service professionals, and those struggling with food insecurity,” said Becca Self, Executive Director of FoodChain. “To do that most effectively, we realized in conversations with so many different sectors, that we need to know where resources are available so that we can work to identify and eliminate gaps in service. We hope this map will help to effectively communicate to the community where meals can be accessed, while also pushing forth new opportunities and offerings in areas that need additional support.”

The city has contributed just over $500,000 in federal funds for food insecurity issues to various agencies.

Partners in Nourish Lexington include FoodChain, VisitLex, Keeneland, Glean Kentucky, the Murry Family Foundation, and many others.

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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!