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Kentucky Ag Department Forms New Commission on Hunger


The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is establishing a new Commission on Hunger.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles made the announcement Thursday at the state capitol during a rally against hunger.  

Quarles says the commission’s initial goal is to develop an inventory of agencies working to help hungry Kentuckians. 

Quarles says the commission will consists of “A coalition of folks who are currently solving the problem, folks who are best abled positioned to solve the problem and folks who may not even know that they have the capacity to address this issue.”

Credit LRC Public Information

  Quarles says the yet to be formed commission will include nonprofits, charitable groups, churches, food banks, and political leaders.  

Kentucky Association of Food Banks Director Tamara Sandberg likes the idea.  “It’s a wonderful way to make sure first of all that we’re using all the resources that we have wisely, to kind of reduce any duplication and food distribution and also to see how we can access more resources,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg says $1.5 million in state funds is being sought for the Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund.  That money is used to pay farmers for unsold produce which is then distributed to food banks.  Taxpayers can also donate on their income tax forms.  The United States Department of Agriculture says one in six Kentuckians is food insecure.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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