Hunger is indeed a problem in our Country today. In fact one in every seven Americans are considered food insecure. Considering that we as a country waste 40 percent of our total food production each year, it is not surprising that our nation’s economy suffers a $218 billion loss yearly due to improper utilization of our bountiful harvest. With a current population in excess of 327 million people there is now more than 47 million Americans who are not regularly receiving sufficient nutrition. What most do not realize is that the problem is not a foreign issue. It impacts the state of Kentucky and our local community.
The South Central Kentucky Outdoor Expo, founded through the outreach efforts of Jones Chapel United Methodist Church, has become one of our states most popular annual sportsmen’s events. People from across the state and beyond gather in Columbia on the first Saturday in August each year to attend this outdoor show featuring exhibitors, statewide competitions, and a message of faith. The expo historically provides networking opportunities for businesses and individuals involved in outdoor pursuits.
The 2018 Expo provided an opportunity for Roger Lapointe, Executive Director for Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, to meet Abner Showalter of Showalter’s Country Meats, a family owned and operated meat processor and retailer from Windsor, Kentucky. This meeting resulted in Showalter’s joining the growing list of processors from across our state that is accepting deer donated by hunters for processing into ground venison to provide needed nutrition for the hungry. During the 2017 hunting season Kentucky hunters donated 992 deer that produced 40,000 pounds of venison, which contributed to 300,000 meals of soups, stews, and sauces to nourish hungry Kentuckians. The venison, which is an excellent source of protein is ground and can be used for burgers, chili, and soups. Kentucky Hunters for The Hungry hopes to see 2000 deer donated during the 2018 hunting season to contribute over 80,000 pounds of ground venison which could produce more than 600,000 nutritious meals.
Chad Parnell, co-director of the Outdoor Expo said, “We are amazed at the partnerships and cooperative efforts that arise as a result of the show each year but this one is special. Thanks to the Campus Kitchen Program at Lindsey Wilson College we will see donated venison contribute to wholesome meals made available to people here at home in Adair County. This effort is another example of how Lindsey Wilson College contributes in such a positive way to our community.”
Lindsey Wilson College became a member of the National Campus Kitchen network in 2016 under the leadership of Abby Biddle a college alumna and Natalie Vickous, Director of Civic Engagement. The Campus Kitchen is located at the Pines and the pantry is located at the Bonner Office on the college campus. According to Alaina Phelps, staff coordinator for the Campus Kitchen, meals are currently being provided for 50 individuals locally through cooperation with the LWC Cranmer Dining Center and Columbia IGA. Volunteers are extremely important to Campus Kitchen. Volunteers may apply at http://vhub.at/cklwc. Those wishing to donate to the kitchen or purchase a Campus Kitchen t-shirt may do so by emailing Alaina Phelps at email@example.com.
Donations to Hunters for The Hungry can be mailed to Hunters For The Hungry, P. O. Box 43281, Louisville, KY 40253. The processing cost for one deer, which will provide 400 needed meals, is $60.
(By Terry Partin)