Providing fresh produce is a key part of our commitment to fighting hunger in Kentucky. 91% of households served by our members purchase unhealthy but inexpensive food as a coping strategy to keep food on the table. It should come as no surprise, then, that many are also struggling with chronic health issues such as diabetes (41%) and high blood pressure (65%). The Farms to Food Banks program allows us to distribute a wide variety of nutritious local food to our neighbors at risk of hunger.
Farms to Food Banks funds are used to help cover farmers’ costs to harvest, package and transport donated agricultural products to food banks or food pantries. The produce is distributed to hungry Kentuckians throughout the state through the Feeding Kentucky network.
Since 2011, we have worked with 1,030 farmers from across the Commonwealth. The map below displays farmer locations. The darker the county, the more farmers we have worked with in that area.
In 2019, we worked with 336 farmers from 60 counties to supplement more than 4.8 million meals for hungry Kentuckians. The average fee paid per farmer was $1,273.00, which is meant to cover the cost of harvesting, packaging, and transporting donated agricultural products to a food bank or food pantry. The most than any single farmer received was $88,205.00.
The Farms to Food Banks program was developed by Feeding Kentucky member God’s Pantry Food Bank and implemented in its Eastern Kentucky service area in 2009 and 2010. Feeding Kentucky has implemented the program statewide since 2011. Since 2011, over 11 million pounds of fresh produce from over 800 farmers in 85 counties have been distributed to hungry Kentuckians in all 120 counties.