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Got milk? New initiative aims to help dairy farmers, hungry Kentuckians

A new Kentucky Hunger Initiative program will help deliver Kentucky dairy products to hungry Kentuckians.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced the new program Tuesday morning at God’s Pantry Food Bank in Winchester.

Mike Halligan, chief executive officer of God’s Pantry, said God’s Pantry food banks serve eastern and central Kentucky. He said about 250,000 Kentuckians are at risk of hunger.

“Several years ago when I was with the national office in Chicago, Feeding America, a well-known Sunday night news program aired a story called ‘Hunger in America,’” he said. “One of the heart-wrenching stories that was part of that broadcast was a woman who was talking about how she would cut milk — 50 percent milk, 50 percent water — in order to make ends meet.

“That’s unacceptable.”

Halligan said families who are facing food insecurity, especially those with small children, are not getting enough calcium in their diets.

“This pilot program will help us initiate, build and sustain a sufficient flow of milk to those in need,” he said.

Halligan said the program has been operational for a few weeks.

“I can’t begin to tell you the joy and pleasure we see in the last few weeks simply by drinking a cold glass of milk,” he said. “It’s been absolutely amazing.”

Quarles said the program is a collaboration of efforts at the state level, farmers and organizations like God’s Pantry.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the farm community stepping up just like other industries, other sectors… to help take care of the less fortunate in our state,” he said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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