Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and representatives from the Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB) and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts presented the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl, the prize for gathering the most food in a statewide food drive held in October.
Big Sandy Area Development District took the overall award having raised nearly 1/3 of a pound of food per person in their district. The rural district winner is the Purchase Area Development District, and the Northern Kentucky Area Development District is the urban area winner.
"Far too many Kentuckians face hunger daily – nearly one in five, and in some parts of the state one in three kids. The need is great, and continues to be," said Grimes. "But, Kentucky's area development districts have stepped up in a huge way to help, raising an amount equivalent to more than 250,000 pounds. This will provide a lot of relief this holiday season through Kentucky's amazing food banks."
The 250,000 pounds collected is enough food for 2,525 people served by KAFB for an entire year or 208,333 meals, according to the food banks association. Every $1 donated returned $8 or more in food to the community.
The 15 area development districts across Kentucky collected food and monetary donations in the inaugural campaign from Oct. 16 through Oct. 27.
The Office of the Secretary of State, the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts (KCADD), and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks partnered to create the competition.
Proceeds and goods generated from the competition will directly aid the members of the KAFB – an organization that distributes over 63 million meals to 1 in 7 Kentuckians annually in partnership with a network of 800 local charitable feeding organizations. Its members serve all 120 counties in Kentucky.
"Kentucky's food bank network is so grateful for impact the inaugural Commonwealth of Kentucky Bowl will have on hunger. Thanks to the efforts of KCADD and the leadership of Secretary Grimes, our struggling neighbors across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased resources in the fight against hunger," said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of KAFB, upon the announcement of the results.
Grimes has been a champion for solving Kentucky's hunger issues since she took office in 2012, including being instrumental in the Farms to Food Banks tax credits legislation, and before she was elected to public office. She is a longtime volunteer at the Salvation Army, serving the Thanksgiving meal at her local service center for more than 30 years. She also has served on the board of God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington.
(provided by Secretary of State for Kentucky)