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Some Kentucky produce will go toward feeding hungry people in need this growing season.
Among companies and private individuals picking up items, representatives from Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland will visit produce auctions. Organization representatives will select produce that is not perfectly formed and might not catch other bidders’ attention.
The organization, which collects and distributes food to 222 member pantries in 42 Kentucky counties, has received a $100,000 grant from Walmart and a $160,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy to buy Kentucky produce.
The organization already collects produce near the end of its shelf life that is donated by grocery stores, said executive director Gary Miles.
Miles said that is helpful because the organization has been increasing its focus on trying to provide healthy food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, to people in need.
The hard part is getting the produce to food pantries throughout the state before it goes bad. Once the food is there, many food pantries don’t have enough refrigerator and freezer space to store produce until there is an opportunity to give it away, Miles said.
Miles said the solution to that might be to get another refrigerator truck and driver to preserve the produce while it is being shipped.
The organization also might be able to get produce to food pantries close to the time that they’re due to give away food so it will be distributed before it spoils, he said.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.