Blue Grass Farms Charities (BGFC) was the recipient of the University of Kentucky (UK)'s first “Equine Week of Service,” a chance for equine students, faculty, staff, and alumni from the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment to volunteer and support organizations that align with their studies.
During the week of Sept. 28, faculty, staff, and students from the UK Equine Program assisted BGFC with outreach and fundraising duties. Participants delivered fresh produce, frozen foods, and bread totaling close to 5,000 pounds from Lexington's God's Pantry to area farms for the workers. The volunteers visited Juddmonte, Don Alberto, Dixiana, Mt. Brilliant, Mill Ridge, Ramsey Farm, and Gainesway.
“COVID-19 is still with us, and these essential workers are adapting to social distancing and wearing masks while working,” said BGFC's executive director Julie Berry. “When they go home, they are met by their families who are dealing with online class learning, home isolation, and food insecurities. Their children are not receiving the breakfasts and lunches they normally would receive from school programs, and every bit of food we provide alleviates this burden.”
Among the reasons BGFC was selected by the UK Equine Program was for the students to see there is more than just the horse that is essential to the industry, which cannot operate without its people. UK equine student volunteers also called on horse farms to see if they were interested in the charity's food distribution program and to remind them of the health screening opportunities the charity has through its partnership with Lexington's Bluegrass Community Health Center.