LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky food pantries have more space to store perishable food thanks to $40,000 in grant money.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Department of Agriculture partnered with Feeding Kentucky and distributed the funds to its seven-member food banks.
God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington serves 50 counties and partners with over 500 meal programs and food pantries to feed those in need.
“Last year we distributed 36 million meals, and that’s equivalent to about 100,000 meals per day,” said vice president of mission delivery, Danielle Bozarth.
Bozarth said much of that food is meats, dairy and produce. Thanks to a grant from KDA and USDA, the food bank could purchase refrigerators and freezers for their partner agencies.
“Many of our agencies have limited resources and the impact this will have is they’ll be able to serve more people,” Bozarth said.
God’s Pantry Food Bank received $12,000 of the $40,000 grant, purchasing 20 fridges and freezers for 15 of their partners. Bozarth said the need for food has been heightened as COVID benefits and other programs have ended.
“The lines seem to be getting longer, more people due to inflation and things like more people are in need now more than ever,” Bozarth said.
Bozarth said there are around 200,000 food insecure people in their service region, which includes central and eastern Kentucky.
“Of the top 12 most food insecure counties in the United States, we have three counties in our service area,” Bozarth said.
Bozarth says last year the food pantry distributed 43.2 million pounds of food.
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.