Elizabethtown eateries support Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland campaign

June 21, 2024 – Elizabethtown eateries J.R. Neighbors and The Original Impellizzeri’s Pizza have pledged to support Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland (FAKH) during their second annual Pasta Bowl campaign.

The annual summer campaign is designed to combat childhood food insecurity within FAKH’s 42-county service area. Every donation goes directly towards supporting Feeding Kids programs, including the BackPack and School Pantry programs, ensuring that children have access to nutritious meals when they need them.

The Pasta Bowl brings together two teams in a friendly competition: Team Macaroni and Team Ravioli – chosen because they’re both kid-friendly favorites. While dining at each restaurant, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about how they can participate in the Pasta Bowl and can make a donation to the campaign. With each donation, participants can cast their vote for their favorite team.

In addition to actively promoting the campaign within both restaurants, J.R. Neighbors and Impellizzeri’s will also donate a portion of summer sales proceeds to the Pasta Bowl campaign.

“Supporting the Pasta Bowl campaign is our way of giving back to the community and helping to address the critical issue of childhood hunger,” said Greg Powell, Director of Operations for Impellizzeri's and J.R. Neighbors. “We encourage everyone to join us in this effort as we work together to ensure that no child goes hungry.” 

The importance of the Pasta Bowl campaign is underscored by the recent release of Feeding America’s latest Map the Meal Gap report. The report reveals that 54,710 children within FAKH’s service area face food insecurity. This statistic translates to approximately 1 in 5 children within the region.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is linked to various detrimental social and health consequences and is recognized as a significant concern within the realm of public health.

In this year’s report, there is a notable escalation in childhood food insecurity in FAKH’s service region compared to previous years. In the FAKH service area, last year’s study identified four counties with childhood food insecurity rates exceeding 20%. However, this year, a staggering 36 counties within FAKH’s service area report childhood food insecurity rates surpassing 20%.

In the past year, FAKH has distributed 461,066 pounds of food to area children through Feeding Kids programming.

“Childhood food insecurity is an invisible crisis that tragically affects one in five children in our region,” said Charles Dennis, Executive Director of FAKH. “Our programs, and the campaigns that support them, are beacons of hope for many struggling families. By supporting the Pasta Bowl campaign, you’re making a tangible difference in a child's life.” 

To learn more and donate to the Pasta Bowl campaign, visit feedingamericaky.org/pastabowl.