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 Gov. Bevin. “In 2016, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles launched the Kentucky Hunger initiative. The objective of the initiative is to study the sources of hunger, identify the unique issues that affect different regions of the Commonwealth, and take and inventory of resources related to the fight against hunger.”
Through participation in the learning lab, state teams will examine how Virginia leverages public-private partnerships to ensure school age children have regular access to healthy meals and increased participation in child nutrition programs. They will discuss strategies such as communicating and collaborating to reduce hunger, expanding access to school breakfast, supporting innovation in summer meal programs, and streamlining eligibility determination for free meals.
“I am excited that Kentucky has been chosen to be a part of this important discussion,” said Commissioner Quarles. “By sharing some of the lessons learned from the Hunger Initiative, and seeing firsthand the efforts of other states in combating hunger, I know this experience will be a success.”
NGA learning labs provide an opportunity for a limited number of state teams to visit a state that is successfully implementing an innovative practice. States participating in the learning lab will have the opportunity to meet in Virginia to learn about best practices for providing healthy meals to school-age children, get an assessment of the degree of childhood hunger present in their own states for policymaking, and receive assistance developing a plan for reducing childhood hunger.
The NGA Center is conducting this learning lab in collaboration with Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit focused on ending child hunger through its No Kid Hungry campaign.