The struggle of food insecurity

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 9:06 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Hunger is a problem that doesn’t discriminate, and it’s a problem that continues affecting many American families.

And with the ongoing pandemic, many have faced other problems as well like job layoffs and job losses.

Ellie Harbaugh, the Vice President of United Way of Southern Kentucky says, “there are people in our community that have never had to ask for help before and those who have never had to ask for help, don’t know where to go.”

Harbaugh says if you need help, “so 2-1-1 is a very easy-to-remember number that individuals can call and we’ll connect them to services in their community to one that serves the entire BRADD area. For those who may not have access, to make a phone call and talk to someone, you can also text, text 8-9-8-2-1-1, and enter your zip code and we will work with you through text getting you the information you need about resources.”

As the pandemic continues, hunger and providing food became a harsher reality to certain families.

Executive Director of Feeding America, Jamie Sizemore adds that “in Warren County, we work with 19 partner agencies in that county alone, and they help distribute food to those that are food insecure. So our job is to take food in from different sources, including government, commodities, donated food from venue manufacturers, and then we also purchase food and then we push it out to our network, our partner agencies in the 42 counties, and they are the ones that are distributing the food in their communities to their neighbors in need.”

Feeding America says once the pandemic started, they kept a close eye on the counties they serve, soon enough Warren County was in trouble.

“What we mean by that was the demand for food was much higher than our partner agencies could keep up with,” says Sizemore.

She also adds, “fortunately, we had a fantastic relationship in partnership with United Way of Southern Kentucky, and we worked with them to distribute to emergency mobile food pantries to set them up to help meet the demand.”

Harbaugh says, “we’ve also been working closely with Feeding America, they’re one of our good partners that we’ve helped them with recruiting volunteers for additional food distributions that have happened here in Warren County.”

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