FRANKFORT, KY (April 23, 2020) – Feeding Kentucky has purchased 3,408 pounds of Kentucky ground beef with funds from Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance’s historic half-million dollar donation as part of Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles’ Kentucky Hunger Initiative. The purchase translates into more than 13,000 4-ounce hamburger patties that will go to vulnerable Kentuckians during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Hunger doesn’t stop during a global pandemic – in fact, it gets worse,” Commissioner Quarles said. “While Kentucky’s processors have largely remained operational, facility closures in other states have eroded market prices for cattle producers and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association estimates $13.6 billion in potential economic damage to the nation’s cattle sector. Kentucky cattle producers are incredibly grateful to Feeding Kentucky and Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance for making this purchase possible.”
Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef is fresh, natural beef raised by Kentucky farm families. The beef is ground and packaged by Creation Gardens of Louisville. The ground beef is a product of Beef Solutions, a limited liability company owned by the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association who has worked with over 123 farmers from 44 counties across the Commonwealth.
“Beef Solutions would like to thank Kentucky Farm Bureau and Feeding Kentucky for standing by our producers during this global pandemic,” Beef Solutions Board Chairman Jeff Pettit said. “We encourage all Kentucky consumers to follow Feeding Kentucky’s example and purchase local beef for their families. Beef Solutions is grateful to Commissioner Quarles and his office for creating this market opportunity through his Kentucky Hunger Initiative.”
Feeding Kentucky’s seven member food banks serve all 120 Kentucky counties in partnership with a network of over 800 local food pantries and shelters. The organization reaches an estimated 1 in 7 of all Kentuckians each year. Last year, members distributed 86 million pounds of food and grocery products, which was enough to supply 72 million meals for those in need.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, some Kentucky food pantries have seen a 40-percent increase in demand,” Feeding Kentucky Executive Director Tamara Sandberg said. “Our member food banks are excited to provide fresh ground beef from Kentucky farm families to hungry Kentuckians. Thanks again to Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance and Commissioner Ryan Quarles for the funding to make this happen.”
Last week, Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Mutual Insurance Company and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Foundation donated a total of $500,000 to hunger relief charities as part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative. The donation is the largest single private donation made as part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative since Commissioner Quarles launched the effort in 2016.
“We’re excited to see our donation used so quickly, and to the direct benefit of our fellow Kentuckians who need support the most right now,” said John Sparrow, executive vice president & chief executive officer of KFB Insurance. “It is also rewarding to know that Kentucky farm families also benefited from Feeding Kentucky’s purchase of locally raised beef. We are so proud to be part of this very worthy endeavor.”
The Kentucky Hunger Initiative was launched in 2016 by Commissioner Quarles to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, and government entities to reduce hunger in Kentucky.