A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Quarles celebrates hunger heroes in Letcher County; checks status of Kentucky Hunger Initiative program

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles visited Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises (CANE) Kitchen and the Cowan Community Center in Letcher County on Monday to check in on the status of a Kentucky Hunger Initiative program feeding children with Kentucky-grown fruits and vegetables and to mark the distribution of the 100,000th meal kit in the community. “Childhood hunger in Kentucky...

Quarles, UK encourage Kentuckians to grow victory gardens; campaign to reach every Kentucky county

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced a new Kentucky Department of Agriculture partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program to encourage Kentuckians to get in touch with their agricultural roots during the coronavirus pandemic. “Since starting the Kentucky Hunger Initiative years ago, the Kentucky Department...

KDA secures USDA grant to purchase 56 freezers, refrigerators for Kentucky food pantries

Fifty-two local food pantries across Kentucky will soon have more space to store food items, thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant secured by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “Thanks to the hard work of our Division of Food Distribution and Kevin Peach applying for the grant, we were able to fund the purchase of 56 appliances to keep food fresh during the pandemic,” Commissioner...

KDA Hunger Initiative results in donation of 560,000 eggs from Cal-Maine Foods to Feeding Kentucky

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced the donation of more than 560,000 eggs from Cal-Maine Foods to Feeding Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative. “Kentucky agriculture continues to step up to the plate to fight hunger during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Quarles. “Thanks to Cal-Maine Foods, more vulnerable Kentuckians have access...

Feeding Kentucky purchases more than 13,000 Kentucky ground beef hamburgers to aid initiative

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...

Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance donates $500,000 as part of Kentucky Hunger Initiative

In response to rising food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Foundation will donate a total of $500,000 to hunger relief charities as part of Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles’ Kentucky Hunger Initiative. The donation is the largest single private donation made as part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative...

New recipe card series — ‘Cook Wild Kentucky’ — to educate Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are teaming up to raise awareness about “Cook Wild Kentucky,” a new recipe card series from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment aimed at educating Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game. “It is an unfortunate reality that 1 in 6 Kentuckians is food...

Ryan Quarles: Farms to Food Banks reduces hunger, helps farmers recoup losses for produce not sold

When you and your family shop for local produce at your farmers’ market or grocery store this summer, what will you look for? A recent study found that most people look for produce without any blemishes. What happens to produce with a cosmetic blemish? At the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), we work to steer that nutritious produce to hungry Kentuckians in need through a program called Farms...

Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry increase amount of venison donated to state’s charitable food agencies

Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry (KHFH) recorded another banner year in 2018 during which the organization increased the amount of venison donated to Kentucky’s charitable feeding agencies. “Kentucky’s sportsmen and women, like our farm families, are great conservationists and stewards of the land,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said of the effort. “As part of the Kentucky...

Ryan Quarles: ‘Check the box’ for Kentucky’s hungry when you file your state income tax returns

Nearly 1 in 6 Kentuckians – including 1 in 5 Kentucky children – don’t know where their next meal will come from at some point in the year. That’s why I launched the Kentucky Hunger Initiative nearly three years ago: to combat the unfortunate reality that so many of our friends and neighbors are food insecure. With tax season upon us, you can “check the box” to join the fight to reduce...

First-in-nation incentive aims to provide more local produce for Kentucky kids in summer meal programs

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has unveiled an initiative that will open a new front on combating food insecurity: summer meals for Kentucky children. In a speech at the Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced Monday that the Kentucky-grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program (K-VIP) will create an economic incentive for summer meal programs...

Walmart to award grants to 10 Kentucky nonprofits during ‘Day of Giving’ Nov. 20 at state capitol

Walmart will host a “Day of Giving” at the Kentucky State Capitol at 1:30 p.m. Monday, awarding 10 nonprofits a Walmart Foundation Kentucky State Giving Grant. The Walmart Day of Giving, featuring local elected officials, will award grants totaling $503,000 to following organizations: • Purchase Area Development District – $108,000 • Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland – $80,000 •...

Food pantries in five Eastern Kentucky counties receive donated freezers as part of hunger initiative

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles brought a little hope to Eastern Kentucky’s less fortunate on this week when he helped deliver freezers donated by Farm Credit Mid-America and CoBank to food pantries in five counties. “Thanks to the generosity of these agricultural lenders, food pantries throughout the Commonwealth will be able to accept donations of meats and other frozen foods,”...

Two agricultural lenders donate chest freezers to more than 120 food pantries across Kentucky

In every Kentucky community, urban and rural, there’s a food insecurity problem. One in six Kentuckians is not always sure where their next meal is coming from. For children, the number is one in five. To help solve this challenge, agricultural lenders Farm Credit Mid-America and CoBank are providing chest freezers to more than 120 food pantries across the state. The freezers will enable increased...

Bevin announces new NGA partnership to help reduce child hunger in Kentucky

Gov. Matt Bevin announced that the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) has selected Kentucky as one of only 10 states to participate in a learning lab on state strategies to reduce childhood hunger. “The Commonwealth has taken steps to begin addressing the unacceptable problem of childhood hunger,” said Bevin. “In 2016, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan...

State Agriculture Department proposes legislation to provide incentives, protection in fight against hunger

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has proposed legislation to help businesses and individuals who wish to donate food to organizations that serve hungry Kentuckians. “These measures would provide incentives and protections for those who want to join the fight against hunger in Kentucky,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “This is due to the work of the Hunger Task Force,...

Commentary: Ultimate goal initiative is to raise awareness of the hunger problem in Kentucky

By Ryan Quarles Special to KyForward The Kentucky Hunger Initiative got off to a great start in 2016. We convened the Hunger Task Force, a group of leaders from agriculture, government, business, education, charitable organizations, and the faith community, to apply their unique skills and experiences to take on hunger in Kentucky. >We held 10 regional meetings throughout the Commonwealth to study...