Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky AmeriCorps Members Package Meals to Fight Hunger; Food benefit project marks the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary and 9/11 Day of Service
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2014) – More than 400 AmeriCorps members helped to package 63,762 vitamin-fortified meals Thursday as part of the national AmeriCorps 20th anniversary celebration and the annual 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance (9/11 Day).
The service project was organized by Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) and by Kids Against Hunger-Louisville.
KCCVS administers the Kentucky AmeriCorps program, which engages its members in intensive direct service each year at schools, public and nonprofit agencies and community- and faith-based groups to address critical educational, environmental and safety needs.
KCCVS Executive Director Joe Bringardner said that the event marks the beginning of a new year of AmeriCorps service.
“It’s a perfect fit that AmeriCorps members kick-start their year of service by participating in a tangible service project,” he said. “Much like the programs these Kentuckians will dedicate themselves to for the next year, these meals will help thousands of individuals in great need.”
Since its inception in 1994, more than 900,000 men and women have served in AmeriCorps nationally, providing more than 1.2 billion hours of service addressing critical challenges from poverty and hunger to disasters and the dropout crisis. Since 1994, more than 9,400 Kentucky residents have served more than 14 million hours and have qualified for education scholarships totaling more than $32.5 million.
Each AmeriCorps Kentucky service year traditionally begins in the fall with a gathering of new members that may include skill development workshops, a group service project and a ceremony that includes an oath of service.
Many of the meals packaged through the Kentucky service project will be distributed to Kentucky families with the help of Feeding America-Kentucky’s Heartland. A portion will be included in a shipment of humanitarian aid scheduled for the Ukraine, where more than 1 million people have been displaced and are suffering from hunger.
The service project, combined with team-building training, was also part of the annual 9/11 Day. Founded in 2002, 9/11 Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay tribute by helping others through charity and good deeds.
Bringardner said members are donating unused shoes and cell phones to benefit WaterStep and Verizon Wireless HopeLine projects.
Through WaterStep, the donation of new and gently used shoes helps fund safe drinking water projects all over the world that help to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year. The HopeLine project collects old wireless phones and accessories and uses them to support domestic violence organizations nationwide.
For more information about AmeriCorps or the KCCVS, please visit www.volunteerKY.ky.gov.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state’s human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.