Clinton County Community Foundation
Clinton County (Albany, KY) is a rural county located near the Kentucky-Tennessee border. A review of trend data for Clinton County (estimated population 10,192) reveals a community plagued by poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, low literacy and education levels, and a number of other risk factors. Meeting daily living needs such as food, clothing, and shelter can be a challenge for a large number of families. Food insecurity has been a topic of interest among community members over the last few years. Efforts to address the issue resulted in the coordination of a backpack program and the implementation of a mobile Bus Stop Café which delivers summer meals to various locations throughout the community. Although these efforts have made an impact, the number of families participating in child nutrition assistance programs has not increased significantly.
Awareness and communication are major barriers. Families need to become aware of the various child nutrition programs and how participation can enhance their quality of life. Many are familiar with and participate in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Efforts to increase knowledge of and subsequent participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) are critical to providing food access during times when children are vulnerable. Effective messaging through print advertisements, social media, billboards, and other communication systems will increase participation in CACFP and SFSP.
Another identified barrier is physical access. Transportation is a major barrier due to cost and the fact that there are only two public transportation providers in the county. Our team will enhance access to CACFP by providing school bus transportation one additional night per week. Additionally, there is a clear need for increased Summer Food Service Program sites and to enhance food preparation and delivery capacity. Conversations among stakeholders are determining the feasibility of additional stops for the mobile Bus Stop Café. If the bus cannot deliver to additional sites, community partners have expressed an interest in approaching more churches to either serve as sites or to offer transportation to existing sites though use of church busses and vans. Stakeholders have also discussed how to include the local park as a SFSP site and to encourage other “neighborhood centers” throughout the community to participate as well.
Lastly, there is a need to host forums that address the overall hunger situation in our community. Many families indicated that nutrition assistance during the summer, at daycares, and in the evenings is not enough. Our community must find a way to address needs such as food access on weekends, during fall and spring breaks, over the holidays, and when assistance program benefits haven’t been able to stretch long/far enough.
Targeted Nutrition Assistance Programs: SBP, NSLP, SFSP, and CACFP