Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, Ryan Quarles has announced a large expansion of the mobile meal distribution for Kentucky schoolchildren during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expansion to Commissioner Quarles’ Kentucky Hunger Initiative will be funded by donations from CoBank and Farm Credit Mid-America. Quarles stated, “The generous donation from Farm Credit Mid-America and Cobank, in a time when so many children are at risk at going hungry, is an incredible act of humanity and kindness.”

Farm Credit Mid-America’s senior vice president for agricultural lending in Kentucky said: “When Commissioner Quarles approached us about expanding the Kentucky Kids Eat mobile meals distribution, we knew this was a way we could make a difference in our communities.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved how necessary the Kentucky Hunger Initiative has become to effectively feed those in food-insecure areas. According to Feeding America, the governor ordered the closure of schools, and non-essential businesses has created an estimated 35% increase in food insecurity.

Derrick Waggoner, the regional president for CoBank remarked “The COVID-19 crisis has intensified food access issues in vulnerable communities. Now, more than ever, it is important that organizations like ours step up to provide support where we can and we are proud to be a part of this effort”

The mobile feeding program will be expanded by the donation in Boyd, Butler, Clinton, Fayette, Jefferson, Letcher, Jessamine, Marshall, and McCracken Counties.

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