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 farmers recoup losses for produce that would otherwise not be sold because of cosmetic imperfections or overproduction. The produce is distributed to hungry Kentuckians throughout the state through the Feeding Kentucky network. This is fresh, healthy food that would otherwise go to waste.
In 2018, over 3.1 million pounds of fresh produce was purchased from 349 farmers in 64 counties. This is enough fruits and vegetables to fill half a plate for over 5 million meals!
The Farms to Food Banks program was developed by Feeding Kentucky member God’s Pantry Food Bank and implemented in it’s Eastern Kentucky service area in 2009 and 2010. Feeding Kentucky began implementing the program statewide in 2011. Since then, over 11 million pounds of fresh produce has been distributed across the state. More than 800 Kentucky farmers have participated in the program.