Archive for Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Kelly appears in Lawrence to announce statewide program addressing food insecurity with locally sourced food

Gov. Laura Kelly appeared at Just Food in Lawrence on Monday to announce a new partnership aimed at address food insecurity statewide. Kelly was joined by U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, left, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam, second from right, and Stephen Davis, the president and CEO of Kansas City-area food bank Harvesters.

Gov. Laura Kelly appeared at Just Food in Lawrence on Monday to announce a new partnership aimed at address food insecurity statewide. Kelly was joined by U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, left, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam, second from right, and Stephen Davis, the president and CEO of Kansas City-area food bank Harvesters.

August 3, 2022

Gov. Laura Kelly appeared at Just Food in Lawrence Monday afternoon and announced a new partnership between the state of Kansas, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, and the United States Department of Agriculture aimed at helping Kansans struggling with food insecurity.

Funds from the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program — $2.5 million from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service — announced Monday will be used to purchase and distribute locally grown and processed foods to help mitigate food insecurity through the state’s existing network of Feeding America food banks. That includes Wichita’s Kansas Food Bank, Kansas City-area food bank Harvesters and Second Harvest Community Food Bank of St. Joseph, Missouri, which also serves northeast Kansas. Just Food is part of Harvesters’ network.

“We are here to celebrate something truly special,” Kelly said Monday. “This is just a common-sense partnership that helps us make progress on two fronts.”

The first of those is addressing food insecurity, which Kelly said about 10% of Kansans — predominantly children, single parents and people of color — struggle with. Kelly pointed to her administration’s push to cut Kansas’ sales tax on groceries as one step toward the goal of addressing food insecurity. The measure schedules reductions that will incrementally reduce the sales tax from its current 6.5% to zero by Jan. 1, 2025.

Kelly said the second challenge the partnership addresses is the amount of food distribution centers like Just Food receive that is produced locally. Last year alone, for example, more than 50 million pounds of food was distributed across Kansas, and Kelly said very little of it was locally grown. Kelly said more food produced by Kansas’ farmers and ranchers should be getting into the hands of their neighbors.

Kelly told the Journal-World Just Food was a fitting location for such an announcement.

“This is really a treasure within the Lawrence community, for one because it is built community,” Kelly said. “It’s not just people who come here to take advantage of the services; it’s also the sense of community that’s coming from all of the people who invest their time and their energy in making this operation work. It’s a gem.”

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment