New Rules Will Allow More Kentuckians Access to Food Banks

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is making it easier for more Kentuckians to get the food they need from food banks.

Commissioner Ryan Quarles, R-KY, relaxed the income requirements through April 30 to help families during the pandemic.

“This is an extremely tough time for many Kentuckians who have lost their jobs or had their income slashed because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Quarles said. “Our citizens have enough to worry about than where their next meal will come from. This action by the KDA’s Division of Food Distribution will allow more Kentuckians to be eligible to receive food from food banks.”

The KDA requested an increase in the income guidelines from 130 to 185 percent to qualify to get food through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP is a federally funded program that provides food to low-income individuals who meet the income guidelines. Households usually must meet eligibility criteria based on the total household monthly income.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expedited the KDA’s request on March 31, taking only about an hour to approve it.

The KDA will continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Kentucky and consider whether to request an extension when the new guidelines expire at the end of April.