Monday April 12, 2021
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Photo: Secretary of State website

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.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Thursday, Hunger Action Day, announced the launch of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl, a statewide competition that challenges Kentucky’s local and county government offices to donate food and funds to aid Kentucky families suffering from hunger.

The Office of the Secretary of State, Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB), the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KDADD), and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks partnered to create the competition.

“One in four Kentucky children don’t always know where their next meal will come from,” said Grimes. “We have to do better, we must do better. That’s why we are partnering with the Commonwealth’s Area Development Districts and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to help us feed Kentucky’s kids and their families as we approach the winter and this holiday season.”

The inaugural campaign will run from October 16 through October 27.

“Our goal is to raise $50,000 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the state legislation that created the Area Development Districts,” said Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell, who is co-chair of the KCADD. “The campaign, with the support of local and county government offices across our Commonwealth, will help provide families with the food they need to thrive.”

Every $1 donated through the completion will return $8 or more in food to the community.

Grimes will make visits to each of the area development districts over the next few weeks to discuss the vital need for hunger relief in Kentucky. She has been a champion for solving Kentucky’s hunger issues since she took office in 2012 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.

Proceeds and goods generated from the competition will directly aid the members of the KAFB – an organization that distributes over 58 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.

Tamara Sandberg, executive director of KAFB, said, “We all have a role to play in ending hunger in Kentucky and we’re grateful that our elected officials are rising to the challenge.”

The Area Development District that raises the most food and funds will win the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cup.

More information on the Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl is at kafb.org/commonwealthbowl/. #HelpFeedKY

Photo: Secretary of State website

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is conducting its second meeting this morning in New Hampshire. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes released the following statement:

“As the President’s election integrity commission meets for the second time today, I remain vehemently opposed to its early actions to suppress voters and its leaders’ blatant peddling of lies regarding our elections. This continues to be a commission seeking fiction rather than fact to support the myth that ‘millions’ voted illegally in last year’s election.

“It’s time for the President to either decide to work with the dedicated election officials across this country who seek to improve our elections and make it easier for all Americans to access the ballot box or to put an end to this sham. If the President is truly interested in solving the issues facing elections, he should start with Russian interference, which is undisputed by U.S. intelligence; harmful voter suppression laws and proposals; and a true effort to end the gerrymandering that negatively impacts all voters, but especially minorities.

“We will soon learn the real truth about whether the President and his commission are interested in real election integrity or obstructing the voting rights of millions of Americans.”

Photo: Secretary of State website

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Monday joined members of the Tri Ân Foundation to break ground for a new monument honoring Vietnamese and American veterans.

“Tri Ân in Vietnamese translates to ‘deep gratitude’, a feeling we all share when it comes to all people who sacrifice for the betterment and protection of their brothers and sisters,” said Grimes. “Millions of Americans and Vietnamese veterans fought side-by-side to win a heroic battle against communist aggression in Vietnam. We are forever grateful.”

The monument, located at Louisville’s Veterans Memorial Park, is an homage to the display of heroism during the Vietnam War. The design of eight bamboo-formed concrete columns representing the eight anti-communist allies that worked together toward freedom for the Vietnamese people – South Vietnam, the United States, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, New Zealand, Republic of China (Taiwan), and the Philippines. The monument will also have a digital component to connect veterans with fellow comrades and learn the destiny of rescued refugees. Families of the fallen will learn new stories and insights behind their loved one’s sacrifice.

“The Tri Ân Foundation is so appreciative of the generosity of so many who understand how important it is we recognize the gratitude of the Vietnamese people for those who helped secure their freedom,” said Yung Nguyen, founder of the foundation. “This monument will be a testament to their sacrifice and help all gain a deeper insight to an important part of world history.”

Grimes is deeply committed to honoring the service of veterans, and she is passionate about supporting Kentucky’s active-duty military members and their families. As Secretary of State, Grimes has advocated on their behalf in a range of issues from voting to business creation to job opportunities. She also played an integral role in the creation of the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame.

More information about the Tri Ân Monument and Foundation is available at tri-ancompetition.com.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday participated in the dedication of a memorial monument honoring fallen military service members and their families. Grimes and other state and city leaders led the ceremony to unveil the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Veterans Park in Lexington.

“Today, we honor the ultimate sacrifice of men and women who stood up and served courageously so that we could live freely,” said Grimes. “And we know that not only have these individuals sacrificed, but so have their families. For that, we are eternally grateful.”

The monument is the 18th of its kind in the nation and the third in Kentucky. The Hershel “Woody” Williams Congressional Medal of Honor Education Foundation assists communities in raising funds and establishing the monuments, including Lexington’s. Williams joined Grimes in the dedication.

As Secretary of State, Grimes has been a steadfast advocate for active military and veterans. Her recommendations to improve military voting resulting from a trip to the Middle East were made law as the first-ever Military Heroes Voting Initiative. The initiative led to a nationally-recognized portal which has successfully assisted thousands of Kentucky military and overseas citizens to cast ballots in elections.

In 2014, Grimes helped several veterans and advocates establish the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame, which honors Kentucky military veterans who have demonstrated exemplary military service as well as military/civilian service to their communities, state, and nation.

Grimes recently pushed for “Boots to Business” legislation in Kentucky’s General Assembly to help veterans start and grow businesses in Kentucky.

“As long as I am able, I will be fighting for those who have fought for us and the families of those who have died for us,” Grimes said.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday urged lawmakers to renew a Kentucky law that provides tax incentives to Kentucky farmers who donate to food banks. Grimes was a prominent backer of legislation creating the incentives.

“Kentucky farmers grow some of the best agricultural products in the country and the world,” said Grimes. “And knowing that as many as one in six Kentuckians is impacted by lack of food, the Farms to Food Banks tax credits for farmers who donate to Kentucky food banks are more important than ever. We should not only renew the credits, but increase their value.”

Grimes is joining Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles in lobbying the legislature for the renewal of the tax credits that House Bill 141 created in 2013. The Kentucky Nonprofit Network recognized Grimes for her work on the legislation last year.

Joining other Kentucky constitutional officers and legislators, Grimes also announced at the rally that her office will launch a Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl food drive this fall. The drive will be held amongst Kentucky businesses and community organizations to help food banks at an important time of need – just before the holidays.

“One in four Kentucky children don’t always know where their next meal will come from,” said Grimes. “We have to do better. That’s why I will be calling on the more than 200,000 businesses that make up the Commonwealth’s business community to help us feed the children and their families this holiday season.”

Grimes is partnering with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, which hosted Tuesday’s rally, for the bowl. She is challenging local chambers of commerce to participate by coordinating donations with their members.

Grimes has been a champion for solving Kentucky’s hunger issues since she took office in 2012 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.

At the rally, Grimes thanked the farmers who participate in the tax credit program and Kentucky’s food banks for their tireless work to help eradicate hunger and food insecurity in the Commonwealth.

“Scripture calls us to help feed those who are hungry. Every Kentuckian that doesn’t worry about when they will eat their next meal or how they will feed their family has a role to play in ensuring no other citizen of this Commonwealth has those worries,” said Grimes.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced today. The award recognizes teachers, school administrators, legislators and community leaders who have made significant contributions toward promoting civic learning to teach students the importance of being engaged citizens.

“The young Kentuckians I meet every day give me hope that our Commonwealth will have a bright future,” said Grimes. “In my life, I was privileged to have mentors who inspired me to serve and be engaged – just like these young people. The Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award is a way to recognize those people who dedicate their time, energy, and are committed to the success of Kentucky’s youth, our future leaders.”

The award winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize to be used to further his or her civic learning initiatives. One finalist will be selected from each Kentucky High School Athletic Association region and each will receive a $250 award. The award winner and the finalists will be recognized during the KHSAA Boy’s Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament in Lexington.

Corey Yates, an educator at Elizabethtown High School, received the 2016 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award. Yates leads his students in civic learning initiatives such as presenting community improvement proposals to the city council, mock trial, and a learning experience on the penal code at a local detention center. He received a $1,000 award to be used for resources and equipment to continue his efforts.

The Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award is part of Grimes’ continued efforts to improve civic engagement in Kentucky. She recently released the findings of the 2016 Kentucky Civic Health Index, the second installment of the report during her tenure. Now, Grimes is traveling across Kentucky stressing the need for increased engagement, bridging participation gaps, and restoring trust in public institutions such as government and media, which the Index shows as areas for improvement.

Application/Nomination forms and additional information about the award are available online. The Office of the Secretary of State sponsors this award with the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Kentucky Department of Education.

The deadline for nominations and submissions is March 3.

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