LEXINGTON, Ky. – Nourish Lexington, powered by FoodChain, announced a fund-raising drive starting this month, which is Hunger Awareness Month. It urges the community to provide financial support for this continuing need, which will focus mainly on filling gaps for students and seniors.
The goal is to raise $450,000, which should provide approximately 65,000 meals through the remainder of 2020.

“This communitywide problem needs a communitywide solution,” FoodChain Executive Director Becca Self said. “We can’t expect the entire burden to rest with institutions like Fayette County Public Schools or emergency food providers. Plus, we’re so fortunate to have so much local food expertise in our midst, from growers to chefs and everything in between. While virtual learning cuts off many students and families from needed resources and limited community gatherings puts a strain on congregate meal options, Nourish Lexington is ready to help fill the gaps and traverse the barriers to ensure students and their families receive nutritious food.”

“Every feeding program will have gaps, but Nourish Lexington makes connections between other food resources and trusted providers to make exponential gains in providing sustenance to families in need.”

For example, Nourish Lexington can complement the efforts of FCPS on days when meals aren’t being served and in areas where students don’t live close to a FCPS meal site or have access to transportation. Similarly, many seniors who already struggle with limited transportation have found their options for accessing meals drastically diminished. 

“The pandemic has presented enormous challenges to our community – challenges that continue to change along with the cases of COVID-19,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “One of those challenges has been ensuring that our most vulnerable citizens have access to nutritious food. We are grateful to FoodChain and Nourish Lexington – partners that have stepped up to help. Lexington, if you’re able to support them, they can use your help.”

To help kick off this next phase, Nourish has already received donations from the following:
•    $100,000 from the Coronavirus Response Fund, a partnership of United Way of the Bluegrass and Blue Grass Community Foundation
•    $50,000 from the Murry Family Foundation
•    $30,000 from the Kroger Company’s Zero Hunger Initiative
•    $25,000 from the Jenna and Matthew Mitchell Family Foundation
•    $10,000 from the MacAdam Early Childhood and Literacy Fund at BGCF

Since the initiative began in early April, Nourish Lexington has distributed more than 150,000 meals to people who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It also has provided more than $45,000 in wages/stipends for food service workers and purchased more than 25,000 pounds of fresh produce from local farmers.

More than $330,000 has been raised from the community – plus another $170,000 from outside resources – since the pandemic started, but Self said the need continues.

“Community support has been tremendous, but we all need to redouble our efforts for the long haul as the virus continues to negatively impact the economy, schools and well-being of our families and children,” Self said. “We urge Lexington residents and businesses, which have been so generous with their resources, to continue to support this effort.” 

To learn more about this effort and help feed members of our community who need it most, visit the new website, www.nourishlexington.org, where you can view a new video that was created and donated by Studio46 Media. To give directly, visit https://bgcf.givingfuel.com/nourishfund

About Nourish Lexington: 
Nourish Lexington, a call-to-action collaboration among FoodChain, VisitLEX, Keeneland and the Murry Foundation, was formed to prepare and distribute fresh, nutritious meals to anyone in need. Over 100,000 meals were provided between April and July. This incredible team has worked together in the FoodChain Kitchen and beyond to alleviate hardship by providing meals for food insecure children and families that need immediate access to meals including hospitality industry families and vulnerable seniors in affordable housing complexes. The effort has also linked the skills and bounty of our local food system professionals, including farmers, cooks, distributors, marketers, and servers in order to provide tens of thousands of meals for free to those struggling through this pandemic while also putting money back into our local food economy to those who help grow and prepare the meals. To learn more, visit www.nourishlexington.org