LEXINGTON, KY – November 23, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Leading by example, Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear visited God’s Pantry Food Bank today to volunteer distributing food as part of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in Kentucky.
The difficult economic times have had a profound impact on families across Kentucky, making the work of food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens more important that ever before. Over the past year, the seven food banks serving Kentucky have seen an average increase in demand for service of 32 percent.
“Kentucky has the fifth highest poverty rate in the United States and is fourth highest with households that lack dependable, consistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food to maintain good health,” said Gov. Beshear. “Unfortunately, far too many Kentuckians are unaware of how prevalent poverty is in their own backyards. I encourage all Kentuckians to donate food or volunteer their time to a shelter or food bank to help take a stand against hunger and homelessness in their communities.”
Local need continues to grow across the state as well, as temperatures drop and the winter months arrive. Last month, 2,300 families request assistance from pantries in Fayette County that just three years ago saw an average of 600-800 families per month.
“At this holiday season so many Kentucky families are struggling to provide just the bare essentials. God’s Pantry Food Bank is working to provide relief from hunger. Community support is needed now more than ever,” said Marian Guinn, chief executive officer of God’s Pantry Food Bank.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released this week its annual measure of Household Food Security in the United States. The numbers are sobering: 49 million Americans are at risk of hunger in America today, including nearly 17 million children. This is an increase of 36 percent over the numbers released one year ago by the USDA, which found that 36.2 million American were at risk of hunger.
For more information on how to get involved in your community, visit the Food Bank Locator at Feeding America: http://feedingamerica.org
Contact: Kerri Richardson