FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s annual Serving Up Solutions fundraiser is going forward this year, but with a twist. Instead of an in-person dinner to raise funds to combat Kentucky’s food insecurity, the department is encouraging individuals to give online during a Virtual Day of Giving set for April 15.

Since 2018, the annual Serving Up Solutions dinner, which features a bipartisan cross-section of Kentucky leaders coming together to fight hunger, has benefited state agencies that fight food insecurity for Kentuckians. Raising tens of thousands each year, the money is divided among Feeding Kentucky, Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, and Glean Kentucky.

“A worldwide pandemic doesn’t stop the need for agencies to fight food insecurity, in fact, it makes their mission even more important,” Commissioner Quarles said. “During this time, food banks and agencies that provide resources to our fellow Kentuckians are under heightened pressure. With unemployment still high and many families looking for help it’s more important now than ever before to find a way to give to agencies that can help.”

To donate as part of the Serving Up Solutions Virtual Day of Giving, interested parties may donate at FeedingKY.org. When visiting the donation link, donors should dedicate the donation to “Serving Up Solutions” or “SUS” to make sure the funds are marked for the Day of Giving.

Studies show one in seven Kentuckians are food insecure. As agriculture commissioner, Quarles has made the need to fight hunger issues in the state a major part of his administration by starting the Kentucky Hunger Initiative. A first-of-its-kind effort in Kentucky, Quarles launched the initiative in the spring of 2016 to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, and government entities to look for ways to reduce hunger in Kentucky. The Serving Up Solutions Virtual Day of Giving is just one part of that campaign.

“Feeding Kentucky is dedicated to the goal of making sure no Kentuckian has to wonder where their next meal will come from,” said Katrina Thompson, executive director of Feeding Kentucky. “While Serving Up Solutions must go virtual this year, I am excited about the opportunity that a virtual day of giving presents. This pandemic has shown that we all must come together to feed our fellow citizens and Feeding Kentucky is grateful to be a partner in this effort.”

“The Serving Up Solutions Virtual Day of Giving will help us raise much-needed funding to help us donate nutritious protein to hungry Kentuckians,” said Roger LaPointe, executive director of Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry. “We are humbled to be a beneficiary of this wonderful event, and are grateful it is moving forward, even during COVID-19.”

“We thank Commissioner Quarles for keeping the communal spirit of fighting hunger going by bringing together so many people for the Serving Up Solutions Virtual Day of Giving,” said Stephanie Wooten, executive director of Glean Kentucky. “While we can’t gather together in person this year, we know that every dollar matters. Every dollar donated to Glean will assist our efforts in gathering fresh produce for those in need. I know the people of Kentucky will step up to the plate on the 15th.”