FRANKFORT, Ky. - With 1 in 7 Kentuckians not always sure where their next meal will come from, Kentucky's cattle ranchers and stockyards have joined together with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks in a new initiative to fight hunger. Beef Counts KY, a program established and endorsed by the Kentucky Beef Council (KBC), will provide a consistent supply of nutrient-rich beef for people facing hunger in Kentucky.

"Beef Counts KY will make it easy for Kentucky's beef community to provide beef for other Kentucky families who need help putting nutritious meals on the table right now," said Chuck Crutcher, chairman of the KBC and Hardin County beef farmer. "Each donated animal or the cash equivalent provides roughly 1,600 servings of high-quality nutrient-rich beef protein. This is a local solution to local hunger."

Farmers will have the option of donating cash or donating proceeds from the sale of beef animals to the Beef Counts KY program. Fourteen livestock markets across the state are currently participating and will forward proceeds from donated beef animals to the Beef Counts KY program. The donations will be used by members of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks to supply nutritious beef to struggling Kentuckians.

"Beef Counts KY is an innovative partnership that comes at a time when food banks are facing unprecedented demand for emergency food assistance," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. "The nutritious beef distributed through Beef Counts KY will play a powerful role in fueling children and the elderly who are especially in need of protein."

For more information about Beef Counts KY, please contact the Kentucky Association of Food Banks at (859) 358-6719 or visit www.kafb.org/beefcounts.