Feeding America and Allen Co. leaders combat food insecurity

Bowling Green, Ky. (WBKO) – Feeding America, the heartland of Kentucky, met with Allen County leaders today to discuss new strategies to fight food insecurity countywide.

About 14 percent of adults and 17 percent of children across the county currently face food insecurity. This means 3,000 county residents lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.

“The rate of food insecurity here is high for both adults and children. So we feel that there are not enough resources and food flowing into this community to meet all of these needs,” said Jamie Sizemore, executive director of Feeding America, Heartland, Kentucky.

Sizemore believes that in order to successfully get food to those in need, Allen County food pantry organizers will need to start partnering with Feeding America, which will allow them to accept fresh produce, meat and dairy products.

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“Not enough food is coming into this county to meet the needs of those who are food insecure,” Sizemore said. “So that’s part of our job, we have the resources but we need partners, boots-on-the-ground partners here in Allen County who know their neighbors better than we do.”

One of the hidden barriers for many facing food insecurity is transportation, Feeding America representatives say. Most of those who are food insecure work full-time and are unable to reach some pantries during their limited hours of operation.

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Sizemore said, “We’re trying to find partners and be where people are and meet them where they are. Instead of asking them to go somewhere else to get food. “

Dennis Harper, Allen County Judge-Executive, says that until now, it has been difficult to provide needed resources to hungry families. This is partly due to limited knowledge of where and when local pantries operate.

“I get a lot of phone calls in my office from people who call me and say, ‘We need food, where can we get food?’ And I don’t always have an answer,” Harper said. “I can send them to some people I know who have food pantries, but they’re not operating or they’re out of food at the time and they can’t get help.”

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After today’s meeting, many local pantry organizers were able to coordinate schedules and share them with Judge Harper. Both groups hope this collaboration and partnership with Feeding America will help combat Allen County’s growing food insecurity.

“We’re all in this together, and people want you to know that we’re all in this together. Anything we can do to help, we’ll help,” Harper said.


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