Kentucky marks Hunger Action Month

Published 3:02 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

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Kentucky first lady Britainy Beshear was joined by food advocates and members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation Monday as they kicked off Hunger Action Month during an event on the grounds of the State Capitol.

Marian Guinn, the interim director of Feeding Kentucky, told the crowd, “Hunger Action Month represents a nationwide effort to focus attention on the issue of hunger, and to offer opportunities for caring individuals, corporations, and organizations to take action to reduce hunger in cities and towns across the United States.”

She cited statistics on hunger in Kentucky. “Nearly 13% of the population experiences food insecurity. This amounts to nearly 580,000 Kentuckians, including more than 154,000 children.”

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Feeding Kentucky works with the seven Feeding America food banks, working daily to distribute food items to those in need.

Kentucky Republican Congressman James Comer, a native of Monroe County, said this issue has been important to him since he was a child.  “I learned at an early age that the school system was where ch8ldren got warm meals.  Many children didn’t have the luxury of getting warm meals at home for various reasons, and the school system plays a important role in providing nutrition to a lot of poor children.”

Democratic Congressman Morgan McGarvey of Louisville noted, “How can we call ourselves the wealthiest nation in the world, when we have kids going to school hungry?  But there is something we can do about it.  You’ve heard bi-partisan calls for action today to make sure our kids get the food they need.  This is not an urban or rural problem, a Democrat or Republican problem, it is a Kentucky and American problem.”

Britainy Beshear said, “Kids who experience hunger are more likely to have grade problems or experience developmental setbacks.  But hunger has no age limits.  It attacks our children, adults, ad our seniors.  No Kentuckians should go to bed hungry.  We know access to nutritious food is a basic human right, to which everyone deserves to have access.”

Feeding Kentucky Board Chair Jamie Sizemore pointed out charitable food organizations can’t win the battle on their own.  “We need our state legislators and our federal Congressmen to help us step up and meet the needs of Kentuckians all across the state, who are food insecure.”

Participants also planted small flags on the Capitol grounds that read, “Hunger Action Month” on one side and “Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice,” on the other.