Hunger Action Month
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – This September, the Feeding Kentucky network of seven food banks is mobilizing across all 120 counties states in an effort to bring an end to hunger.
Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the number of people who are food-insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.
Kentucky has the ninth highest rate in the nation of people struggling to put food on the table. In Kentucky, almost 700,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they will find their next meal. That number includes one in every five kids who may not have enough to eat.
After nearly ten years, food insecurity levels for most communities across the country, including Kentucky, had reached their lowest levels in 2018, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study. However, analysis from Feeding America’s The Impact of the Coronavirus on Local Food Insecurity shows that progress made to food insecurity in the past decade will likely be wiped out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hunger is not a COVID-19 problem,” said Katrina Thompson, Executive Director of Feeding Kentucky. “Kentucky families were struggling long before the pandemic started, and it has only been exacerbated over the past 18 months.”
September marks the fourteenth year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action and eleventh year Feeding Kentucky has participated in the Hunger Action Month movement. This year’s campaign theme: food shouldn’t be an impossible choice.
“Hunger is a major concern in our commonwealth, with one in every seven Kentuckians not having enough food week to week,” said Gov. Beshear. “Every Kentuckian should have access to quality, nutritious food and should never wonder where their next meal will come from. On this Hunger Action Day, I am grateful organizations like God’s Pantry Food Bank and Feeding Kentucky are working to end hunger and food insecurity in Kentucky every day. Thanks to your work, we’re building a healthier, better Kentucky right now.”
To make taking action against hunger easier, God’s Pantry Food Bank is opening a new Volunteer Center and Food Pantry in Lexington. This space will serve as the hub for God’s Pantry Food Bank’s volunteer activities, as well as a client-choice food pantry for members of the community. The Volunteer Center is expected to open in late fall 2021, and the food pantry is expected to open in Spring 2022.
“Over the pandemic, we started to realize there were some actions we could take to help our neighbors in Central and Eastern Kentucky,” said Michael Halligan, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank. “This space was born out of that realization.”
“We could not have gotten through this pandemic without partnerships,” said Linda Gorton, Mayor of Lexington. “I so appreciate what you, your staff, your board, and your partners do to keep Lexington fed.”
Hunger Action Day®, the third Friday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact. This year, on September 17th, Feeding Kentucky is seeking 700 actions from the public – a donation, a volunteer shift, a social media post – that will help end hunger, one helping at a time.
“One action leads to 10, 10 to 100, and I could keep going through the math,” said Michael Halligan, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank. “Together, these actions have the ability to eradicate hunger in Lexington, the Commonwealth, and the nation.”
To learn more about Feeding Kentucky and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month in Kentucky, please visit FeedingKY.org or HungerActionMonth.org. To learn more about God’s Pantry Food Bank and the future Volunteer Center and Food Pantry, visit godspantry.org.