KDA Hunger initiative results in donation of 560,000 eggs to Feeding Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced the donation of more than 560,000 eggs from Cal-Maine Foods to Feeding Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative.

“Kentucky agriculture continues to step up to the plate to fight hunger during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles. “Thanks to Cal-Maine Foods, more vulnerable Kentuckians have access to fresh, nutritious eggs.”

“Feeding Kentucky is incredibly grateful to Commissioner Quarles for facilitating this donation as a part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative,” said Jamie Sizemore, executive director of Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland. “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a 30 to 60 percent increase in demand for food in our region. These fresh eggs from Cal-Maine Foods will go a long way to fulfilling the need.”

Feeding Kentucky’s seven member food banks serve all 120 Kentucky counties in partnership with a network of over 800 local food pantries and shelters. The organization reached an estimated 1 in 7 of all Kentuckians each year. Members in 2019 distributed 86 million pounds of food and grocery products, which was enough to supply 72 million meals for those in need.

“Cal-Maine Foods is honored to support our communities through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Feeding America,” said Marc Ashby, director of special projects for Ca-Maine Foods. “Programs, such as Commissioner Quarles’ Hunger Initiative, serve a vital need in our state. Our food banks are on the front line of ensuring food stability for many Kentuckians, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing, and sale of fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic, and nutritionally enhanced eggs. The company, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the nation's largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs and sells the majority of its shell eggs in states in the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions.

The Kentucky Hunger Initiative was launched in 2016 by Commissioner Quarles to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, and government entities to reduce hunger in Kentucky.