The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky has been working to tackle food insecurity, a prevalent problem throughout Kentucky.
Food insecurity refers to the lack of access to nutritionally adequate foods for a healthy active life. It may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
Research by Feeding America shows that one in six youth in Kentucky face hunger. Kentucky’s food insecurity rate is higher than the national average. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Feeding America estimates food insecurity has gone up by 40% in Kentucky.
Because of the depth of the problem, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is tackling the issue through several programs within the Foundation family.
Affiliate Community: The Pikeville Community Foundation
The Pikeville Community Foundation is a collaborative effort of local people dedicated to the preservation and sustainability of Pike County. The Community Foundation is working to create a culture of giving and philanthropy that promotes community development.
The food insecurity rate in Pike County is 19.7%. The Pikeville Community Foundation recently awarded more than $40,000 to community-based nonprofits administering food security programs in Pike County. Grantee partners include East Kentucky Dream Center, Grace Fellowship Community Kitchen, Handfuls on Purpose, Helping Hands of Phelps, Pikeville Community Kitchen, Thankful Hearts Food Pantry, God’s Closet & Pantry and the Pikeville Area Family YMCA.
“The overall economy of eastern Kentucky and the pandemic have threatened the lives and livelihoods of so many people in our region,” said Pat McNamee, chair of the Pikeville Community Foundation. “We hope these grants will help our food banks increase their capacity and continue to serve and meet the increasing demands. For people facing hunger—hope can be a hot meal, a bag of groceries, and a well-nourished child.”
Crockpot Meal Program
The crockpot meal program is through Northfork Local Foods, a fiscally sponsored project of the Foundation, brings together families and fresh produce to help combat food insecurity in the region. Northfork Local Foods has partnered with Save the Children to distribute 20 crockpot meals to families in need. These meals are designed to highlight the local ingredients sourced from farmers participating in the Perry County Farmers Market, with fresh produce including tomatoes, butternut squash, spinach, kale, and more!
At the start of the six-week program, each family received a crockpot. Then, each week the families will receive all the ingredients along with a recipe card and a “Cooking Together” activity sheet to enjoy together. Families, especially the children, have loved the program! A mother in the program shared that her son is enjoying helping to prepare the meals.
Leaving a Legacy of Food Security
Linda Templeton, a widow who had just moved back to her hometown Pikeville, was looking through the local newspaper when an article spotlighting the Pikeville Community Foundation caught her eye. They had just organized and made a grant to the farmers market in partnership with the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.
Once Linda realized the impact that the Pikeville Community Foundation was having in her local community, she decided to ask them to help her with her charitable aspirations by having her funds advised by the Pikeville Advisory board.
Linda committed to 4 funds, including the Woodrow and Evelyn Johnson Scholarship Fund for students at Shelby Valley High School in Pike Co, Big Sandy Habitat for Humanity, and The Linda J. Templeton Fund. This fund is dedicated to combating food insecurity, especially for children, in Pike County. Linda also chose to endow a portion of her estate to Pikeville Community Foundation.
After her passing, her legacy continues to live on, with all of her funds being advised by a local advisory board made up of individuals in Pike County.
If you would like to help support the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s fight to end food insecurity, please contact Tonya Shepherd at email@example.com.