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Feeding America helping Kentuckians struggling with food insecurity

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 6:38 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Food insecurity is a major challenge for many of those living in south-central Kentucky and Feeding America said the numbers of those who were in need of assistance have jumped due to the pandemic.

“One in five people now will find themselves food insecure at some point during this pandemic. One in three children can face hunger at this point during this pandemic. So those numbers are pretty staggering when you look at what has happened. Families with school-aged children have been impacted the most by this pandemic,” said Jamie Sizemore, Feeding America Executive Director.

The executive director said they have purchased $1.3 million in food since COVID started.

There are several outlets across south-central Kentucky you can visit for help. United Way’s 2-1-1 line is there to provide you assistance for organizations that can help you if you find yourself struggling.

“There are people in our community that have never had to ask for help before. Those who have never had to ask for help, don’t know where to go when you don’t have food to put on the table. You really don’t need to go to three or four different places trying to find those resources. 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. For those who may not have access to make a phone call and talk to someone, you can also text, text 898211, and enter your zip code. We will work with you through text to get you the information you need about resources,” said Ellie Harbaugh, Vice President, United Way of Southern Kentucky.

One local resource in Bowling Green you visit includes the Salvation Army. Every other Thursday they switch between produce boxes and meal boxes. They also offer daily warm meals for people who are staying there and for those who want to grab a meal to-go.

“We will take some of the products that you see here in our warehouse and we box them up and add meat products, bread products, and so forth so that a family can get enough food to last them for that week,” said Major Richard Watts, Co-Officer Salvation Army, Bowling Green.

Also, in Glasgow, the First Christian Church has worked hard to grow its food pantry over the last few years. They are able to feed around 70 to 74 families a month.

“We have the opportunity to get different access to different food supplies, and we normally would, at reduced prices, so that we’re not spending as much money to stock our shelves. So we’re able to provide more food, and still keep good nutritional value,” said Barbara Vien, Food Drive Ministry.

WBKO is helping Feeding America with a special show Saturday. Gray Television is partnering with the Grand Ole Opry and Circle TV, to raise money to help feed people who have been affected by extreme weather across several states this month. as well as those who are facing food insecurity because of the ongoing pandemic.

Opry Live Feeding America will air just after 13 News at 10.

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