Kentucky’s Beef Community Helps Fight Hunger
By WestKyStar Staff
FRANKFORT, KY - With one in seven 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,” according to 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.”
Beef Counts KY will have its official kick-off on Tuesday September 4th, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort as part of the Kentucky Association of Food Bank’s Farmers Fighting Hunger event. The event will be hosted by Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
For more information about Beef Counts KY, contact the Kentucky Association of Food Beef Counts KY Banks at 859-358-6719 or visit www.kafb.org/beefcounts
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national Checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
The Kentucky Association of Food Banks is comprised of seven Feeding America food banks that reach all 120 counties of Kentucky and serve an estimated 1 in 7 of all Kentuckians annually. Last year, its members distributed 50.9 million pounds of food and grocery products —the equivalent of 39,000,000 meals — to more than 1,000 charitable feeding agencies such as pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community, visit www.kafb.org.
Information provided by Alison Smith with The KY Beef Council.