Kentucky Business, Government Leaders Serve Up $46K in February Benefit Dinner
Quarles Hails Generosity of Kentucky's Business Community
FRANKFORT (March 28, 2019) — The second annual Serving Up Solutions dinner in February raised $46,235 in ticket sales and sponsorships, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced.
The dinner benefited Feeding Kentucky (formerly the Kentucky Association of Food Banks), Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, and GleanKY. Proceeds amounted to more than double those of the inaugural dinner in 2018.
“Once again, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from Kentucky’s business community,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Thanks to our corporate and government partners, the Serving Up Solutions dinner has succeeded wildly in raising money to feed Kentucky’s less fortunate and raising awareness of the problem of chronic food insecurity in the Commonwealth. We are deeply grateful to our guests, our presenting sponsors WellCare and Kroger, and everyone else who had a hand in making this event a complete success.”
An estimated 200 people attended the dinner. State legislators served as celebrity waiters. WellCare Health Plans and Kroger were the presenting sponsors, and Walmart was a platinum-level sponsor. State Senator Robin Webb and Representative Phillip Pratt served as legislative hosts for the event.
“Feeding Kentucky is dedicated to the goal of making sure no Kentuckian ever has to wonder where their next meal will come from. The Serving Up Solutions dinner and the Hunger Initiative have moved the needle significantly toward our goal,” said Tamara Sandberg, executive director of Feeding Kentucky. “We are thankful to Commissioner Quarles and the donors, legislators, and Kentucky Department of Agriculture staff whose efforts with the Serving Up Solutions dinner will help us feed more Kentuckians.”
“The Serving Up Solutions dinner raises much-needed funding to help us process and distribute donated venison to provide lean, delicious protein to hungry Kentuckians,” said Roger LaPointe, executive director of Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry. “We are grateful and humbled to be a co-beneficiary of this wonderful event, and we pledge to continue to work with Commissioner Quarles and his Hunger Initiative to stamp out hunger in Kentucky.”
“We thank Commissioner Quarles for including GleanKY in this year’s Serving Up Solutions dinner,” said Stephanie Wooten, executive director of GleanKY. “With our share of the proceeds, we can do more to collect and distribute excess fruits and vegetables for our friends and neighbors in need. We are pleased to work with Commissioner Quarles and his partners in the Hunger Initiative to help less fortunate Kentuckians get the nutritious foods they need for a healthful lifestyle.”
“The Kroger Co. has a long and proud history of offering nutritious foods at affordable prices for American families, so the goals of the Serving Up Solutions dinner and Commissioner Quarles’ Hunger Initiative are consistent with our core values,” said Erin Grant, spokesperson for The Kroger Co. “We are proud to play a role in making the Serving Up Solutions dinner a mid-winter tradition in Kentucky.”
“At WellCare, we understand that a consistent supply of nutritious food is vital to everyone’s well-being,” said Ben Orris, WellCare Health Plans’ Kentucky chief operations officer. “We were pleased to serve as a presenting sponsor of the Serving Up Solutions dinner, and we commend the work of Commissioner Quarles and his partners in the Hunger Initiative. We remain committed in our efforts to help reduce the food insecurity that impacts so many people’s lives in Kentucky.”
The Hunger Initiative is a first-of-its-kind effort in Kentucky that Commissioner Quarles launched in the spring of 2016 to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, and government entities to look for ways to reduce hunger in Kentucky. For more information on the Hunger Initiative, go to kyagr.com/hunger.
Map the Meal Gap 2018, an annual study by Feeding America, revealed that nearly one in every six Kentuckians – including one in five children – was food insecure in 2016, meaning that consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.
Commissioner Quarles with representatives of the three co-beneficiaries of the Serving Up Solutions dinner: from left, Roger LaPointe, Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry; Tamara Sandberg, Feeding Kentucky; and Stephanie Wooten, GleanKY. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)