Regional food programs feed thousands experiencing food insecurity in NKY

Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark is LINK nky's Boone County reporter

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Nearly 18,000 seniors and families have been served meals in recent efforts to address food insecurity in Northern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky Area Development District officials said.

A family experiencing food insecurity doesn’t have access to enough food — or healthy enough food — due to social and/or economic conditions, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Covington resident Justin Corcoran said he is thankful the need is locally recognized. 

“The struggle is real here in Kenton County and in all of the surrounding counties,” he said. “I’m glad there are partnerships with the different pantries and social service agencies working to help.”

As the state’s designated food bank for Northern Kentucky, the Northern Kentucky Area Development District administers and oversees the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program in its eight-county region.

“Just a couple of interesting facts – seniors and families served, overall, almost 13,000 seniors were served by the different food programs that we have – and families, almost 5,000,” Northern Kentucky Area Development District Executive Director Tara Johnson-Noem said. “That’s just in fiscal year ’23.”

The Emergency Food Assistance Program distributed 45,518 pounds of food last year, with the Commodity Supplemental Food Program distributing an additional 16,586 pounds of food, Johnson-Noem said. 

Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties are within the Northern Kentucky Area Development District’s service area.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program is a federally funded program that provides supplemental food to low-income households. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is also a federally funded program with the goal of improving the health of low-income individuals aged 60 or older. 

“Sometimes we see the numbers side and we don’t always think about these are families that otherwise may have not been able to access a meal that they needed,” Johnson-Noem said.

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