Courtesy USDA

If you’ve ever struggled to feed your family on a budget, worried where your next meal would come from or lamented about the dearth of urban groceries in Louisville, now’s your chance to sound off — and possibly improve the local food environment.

A series of forums by the Lift a Life Foundation and the Community Foundation of Louisville kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Table Café, 1800 Portland Ave. Two more follow on Friday and Saturday at different locations.

The effort is part of the Hunger Innovation Fellowship, a partnership between the two foundations to find systemic solutions to problems, such as some local residents lacking consistent access to enough food to live healthy and active lives.

Many local nonprofits are doing “fantastic work,” but “still there’s the problem of over 122,000 people in Jefferson County that are still food insecure, and so we feel that there’s more to be done,” said Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman, the foundations’ 2018 Hunger Innovation Fellow.

So the public is being invited to these forums, which include one at 10 a.m. Friday at the Smoketown Family Wellness Center, 760 S. Hancock St., and another at 10 a.m. Saturday at the South Central Regional Library, 7300 Jefferson Boulevard.

“We have basically invited the full community of Jefferson County,” Quarterman said. But “we’ve been particularly promoting (the series) in neighborhoods that kind of have a higher level of multidimensional poverty, so we’re hoping to fill the room with people that have either known food insecurity or maybe live next door to food insecurity.”

Though the problem is most common in west and south Louisville, there are people in other parts of the community, such as the East End, who are food insecure as well, she said. “It’s just not as concentrated out there.”

The forums are designed to capture “multiple voices and perspectives,” a news release notes.

“We spread out the locations and times of it just to make it a little bit more inclusive,” Quarterman said. “We’re trying to bring the community together to really inform us of some solutions that can be made.”

Darla Carter is a hometown girl who recently joined the staff of Insider Louisville to mostly cover health. She previously served as a longtime health and fitness writer for The Courier-Journal, where she also worked for the Metro, Neighborhoods and Features departments. Prior to that, the award-winning journalist wrote for newspapers elsewhere in Kentucky and Tennessee, covering a range of topics, from education to courts. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied journalism and philosophy, and is the proud mom of two young children.


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