Getting enough to eat is a growing challenge for many Kentuckians, according to a just-released survey from God's Pantry Food Bank.
The Lexington-based food bank is serving more than 211,000 people — 33 percent more than it was four years ago — according to the Hunger in Central and Eastern Kentucky 2010 survey, released Tuesday. Since 2002, the need has nearly doubled. The 380 agencies in the 50 Kentucky counties that the non-profit agency covers are entirely dependent on volunteers.
"The results of this report are both astonishing and encouraging," said Marian Guinn, chief executive of God's Pantry Food Bank. "To know that we are reaching one in seven people in our service area encourages us to continue working. ... However, this report also shows us that the need for assistance has grown exponentially in the last four years."
God's Pantry's statistics are in line with national numbers, which were released Tuesday as part of the greater Hunger in America 2010 survey. Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, reported that more than 37 million people, or about one in eight Americans, receive emergency food each year. That is an increase of about 46 percent since 2006.