As we move more toward economic restoration and sustainability in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are shifting away from crisis mode and reactionary measures. In the beginning, so much changed day to day and we had to adapt accordingly to ensure we were continuing to provide food to the ever-increasing numbers of our neighbors who needed help.
You have given unprecedented support throughout these trying months. Many of you became donors to Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland for the first time a year ago, recognizing the elevated demand for our services and wanting to help. We have it said many times, but we can’t do what we do without you.
Now that we can catch our breath, we have more time to be proactive and plan for the future of our food bank industry. That future hopefully will include your continued support, but also partnerships with organizations and businesses that help fuel our work. Just last month, our partnership with the REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky and their REALTORS® Hope for Hunger project has meant that nearly 100,000 pounds of food was distributed to food insecure families in southern Kentucky.
Also, we recently announced the continuation of our partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. For the past three years this partnership has meant nearly 925,000 pounds of fresh produce have been put into the hands of people facing hunger in our service area. With Anthem’s new commitment of $420,000, 1.9 million pounds of produce will be distributed over the next three years.
As we learn what this next stage of recovery will look like for the food bank industry, we know that our work isn’t done. There still are so many people in our communities who don’t know where their next meal will come from, and nearly a quarter of a million of our neighbors, family and friends rely on us for sustenance. Recovery will take time and all of our efforts to support those who continue to face food insecurity.
Families with school-age children have been hit especially hard, which is why we are focusing our efforts for KY Gives Day to raise money that will go to programs that support these families, such as family food boxes, mobile food pantries and BackPack Program bags. We would be thrilled if you would once more commit to help these families – people in our own communities – who just need a hand up.
Beginning at midnight and lasting until 11:59 p.m. on May 11, KY Gives Day is a chance for non-profit organizations throughout the state to come together and raise as much money as possible. Most exciting of all, thanks to the FAKH Board of Directors, Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste program, and Jack Henry & Associates, we have secured a $35,000 gift match. This means that any donation will be DOUBLED up to $35K! We hope you visit https://www.kygives.org/organizations/feeding-america-kentucky-s-heartland on Tuesday, May 11 for KY Gives Day and will join us in hopefully raising more money than ever before!
We look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in this next stage of recovery. With your help, we are ever closer to ensuring no one in our service area goes to bed hungry.