When you donate a part of your state tax refund to the Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund, you’re helping Kentuckians in unfortunate circumstances – some of them your friends and neighbors – gain access to fresh, nutritious, local foods. You’re also helping Kentucky farmers make a living. It’s good for economic development, and it’s consistent with Kentucky values of compassion and generosity.
A nonprofit that benefits from the trust fund, the Kentucky Association of Food Banks’ Farms to Food Banks program, pays farmers for produce that retailers don’t want because of minor blemishes or size discrepancies and distributes it to low-income Kentuckians to serve to their families. Farmers are able to generate revenue for product they would not have been able to sell otherwise, and healthy food is consumed rather than being plowed under in the field.
The Farms to Food Banks program received a grant of $41,433 from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in 2014 thanks to donations from individuals who designated a portion of their state income tax refund to the Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund.
In 2014, 373 Kentucky farmers from 66 counties were paid an average of $1,450 for the produce they provided to the KAFB’s Farms to Food Banks program. More than 3 million pounds of Kentucky-grown fruits and vegetables were distributed to our hungry neighbors in all 120 counties rather than going to waste in the field. That is the equivalent of filling half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for 4.8 million meals. For more information about the Kentucky Association of Food Banks and its Farms to Food Banks program, go to www.kafb.org.
In Kentucky, 1 in 6 of our neighbors – including nearly 1 in 4 children – is food insecure, which means they lack consistent access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life. In a state with abundant natural resources, a strong agriculture industry, and a rich food history, no one should go to bed hungry. As we commemorate Farms to Food Banks Month, I hope all Kentuckians will join me in donating a portion of your state tax refund to the Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund.