Program prevents perishable foods from getting thrown away
By Justin Jones
PADUCAH, KY -
Most of us have done it, tossed a tomato because of some spots on it. Every day in our area, hundreds of pounds of groceries, which are perfectly fine, would get thrown in the trash because their shelf life expired. At the same time, one in four Kentucky kids do not have access to healthy foods.
Clay Black, commodities and food coordinator for the Purchase Area Development District, works with Feeding America to make sure the food that would get thrown away gets to the families who need it most.
Feeding America has a contract nation-wide with Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Kroger Co. to allow food banks to collect their perishable fruits and vegetables and then distribute them to local food pantries, who in turn give them to the families who need them. Locally, Black drives to stores in Paducah, Mayfield, Fulton, Benton, and Murray every day to pick up their past-date perishables. Then, he organizes the food pantries to come pick the food up before it goes bad.
Hubert Crider is a member of the Milburn United Methodist Church in Carlisle County, and he makes his way to the PADD office every Wednesday afternoon to pick up their share to hand out Wednesday evening at the church. He said they help around 40 families every week, and they all need fruits and vegetables.
Black told Local 6 that 456,000 pounds of perishables have made it to the tables of families in the eight western most Kentucky counties so far this fiscal year. He said the best way for people to help is working with their local food pantries. For more information about the food pantries in the area, click here.