Ky. buys 315,000 meals for hungry residents

Published 11:11 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hundreds of Kentucky families will have a holiday meal this year after state officials purchased surplus meals from FEMA to distribute locally.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles made the announcement Wednesday in God’s Pantry Food Bank’s Winchester warehouse, where two loads of the meals have already been delivered with a third expected today.

Quarles said the project was a collaboration between the Cabinet for Finance and Administration and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture along with the federal Government Services Administration and FEMA.

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The meals were for disaster relief, he said, and were excess destined to go elsewhere.

Quarles said the state purchased 14 truck loads of the pre-packaged meals for $5,000 each, which amounted to a 96 percent discount.

“We’re so proud we’re not only able to provide food, but to do it at a cheap price,” Quarles said.

Employees in the Kentucky Division of Surplus Property learned about the surplus meals less than two weeks ago, he said.

“This is quite exciting,” Finance Cabinet Secretary William Landrum said. “It’s an initiative that defines public service. Being able to provide those meals… is absolutely tremendous.”

God’s Pantry CEO Mike Halligan said there are about 250,000 people in central and eastern Kentucky who are food-insecure. Many of those will now have a holiday meal to enjoy.

“The availability of this surplus could not come at a better time,” he said. “For those who are hungry, they may not have a (holiday) meal to enjoy.”

Each box contains 12 servings each of canned tuna, a starch, fruit, desserts and snacks, Halligan said.

Halligan said the 72,000 meals slated for Winchester will be distributed beginning today.

Quarles said other truckloads will be delivered to Elizabethtown.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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