Kentucky’s area development districts helped raised the equivalent of more than 250,000 pounds of food as part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday.
Big Sandy Area Development District is the winner of the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district. The rural district winner is the Purchase Area Development District, and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District takes the prize for the urban area winner.
The Office of the Secretary of State, Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB), the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD), and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks partnered to create the competition.
“I’m so proud of the efforts of all who participated in our inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl,” said Grimes. “It breaks my heart to know that one in five Kentuckians – and in some areas of Kentucky, one in three kids – don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. I am grateful to Kentucky’s development districts for stepping up to help provide some relief this holiday season through Kentucky’s amazing food banks.”
The 15 area development districts across Kentucky collected food and monetary donations in the inaugural campaign from Oct. 16 through Oct. 27.
The 250,000 pounds collected is enough food for 2,525 people served by KAFB for an entire year or 208,333 meals, according to the food banks association.
“The generous outpouring from our regions across the state will make a financial difference to the agencies who struggle to serve those in need, and will make a difference to the families who constantly worry, ‘What will be for dinner? And where will it come from?’,” said Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell, who is co-chair of the KCADD. “The Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts is proud to have been a part of a competition resulting in this kind of generosity.”
Every $1 donated returned $8 or more in food to the community.
Proceeds and goods generated from the competition will directly aid the members of the KAFB – an organization that distributes over 63 million meals to 1 in 7 Kentuckians annually in partnership with a network of 800 local charitable feeding organizations. Its members serve all 120 counties in Kentucky.
“Kentucky’s food bank network is so grateful for impact the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl will have on hunger. Thanks to the efforts of KCADD and the leadership of Secretary Grimes, our struggling neighbors across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased resources in the fight against hunger,” said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of KAFB.
Grimes has been a champion for solving Kentucky’s hunger issues since she took office in 2012, including being instrumental in the Farms to Food Banks tax credits legislation, and before she was elected to public office. She is a longtime volunteer at the Salvation Army, serving the Thanksgiving meal at her local service center every year. She also has served on the board of God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington.
Grimes, KAFB, and KCADD will make an official presentation next month.