Feeding America addressing food insecurity in Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Every year, Kentucky continues to rank among one of the worst states for hunger and food insecurity in the entire country.

With summer now here, the disparity in food needs grows larger, which is why Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland is doing all it can to address that issue.

“Until we solve the root causes of food insecurity by having affordable housing, affordable healthcare, affordable prescription drugs, we are not going to solve hunger,” said Jamie Sizemore, executive director for Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland.

Every day, one in seven adults and one in five children in Kentucky struggle with hunger, all for a variety of reasons.

“Food is last on the list,” added Sizemore.

Sizemore presented on these findings to the Bowling Green Rotary Club on Wednesday, informing them that Kentuckians suffer the worst food insecurity in America for the 50-59 age range.

“A lot of times when they’re coming to us for assistance, they’re in a crisis state,” said Sizemore. “They have to pay their bills. They have to pay their electric bill. They have to pay their mortgage or their rent. They have to put gas in their cars to go to work. Unfortunately, until we solve some of those issues, we’re not going to solve hunger.”

Hunger is an issue that becomes even more prevalent during the summer time, except in this case, it’s for families with children.

“When kids are out of school, food insecurity rates goes up because the kids are not consistently getting two meals like they would at school,” Sizemore said. “So the food insecurity rate does go up.”

With those things in mind, Feeding America is doing everything it can to partner with local food pantries to reverse this discouraging trend of food insecurity throughout the Commonwealth.

“There are a lot of people working very hard to provide for their families,” added Sizemore. “It’s just sometimes it’s difficult.”

According to Feeding America, 67% of people in Kentucky had to choose between paying for utilities or paying for food at one point in the past year.