Press Releases

Jim Weise and Commissioner Ryan Quarles


Jim Weise, left, chairman of the board of Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland, and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles take notes during the Hunger Task Force meeting Monday in Elizabethtown. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)


Quarles leads Hunger Initiative regional meeting in Elizabethtown


Meeting is ninth of 10 to be held across the Commonwealth


For Immediate Release
Monday, September 19, 2016
For more information contact:
Angela Blank
(502) 573-0450


ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles led a meeting of advocates for the hungry and local leaders to learn what is being done at the local level to combat food insecurity in the Elizabethtown area Monday at the Hardin County Extension Office.

“These regional meetings will give the Kentucky Hunger Task Force a clearer picture of the need as well as actions being taken locally to meet the need,” Commissioner Quarles said. “With this information, the task force can develop measurable, attainable goals for reducing hunger in Kentucky and a plan of action to achieve those goals.”

Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland serves more than 174,000 people in 42 counties in central and southwestern Kentucky. It distributes approximately 14 million pounds of food that provide 11.7 million meals per year. Map the Meal Gap, an annual study by Feeding America, found that 17 percent of the population of Kentucky – or 1 out of every 6 Kentuckians – is food insecure.

The Hunger Task Force is part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative, a first-of-its-kind effort to alleviate food insecurity in Kentucky. The objectives of the Hunger Task Force are to study the sources of hunger, identify the unique issues that affect different regions of the Commonwealth, and take an inventory of resources that can be brought to bear against the hunger problem in Kentucky.

The task force is holding a series of regional meetings throughout the state to hear from volunteers fighting hunger at the local level. The final meeting is scheduled Sept. 28 in Pikeville. The task force then will meet to review information gathered at the regional meetings and create a strategic plan to address hunger in Kentucky.

For more information about the Hunger Initiative and the Hunger Task Force, visit