Perfetti Van Melle North America, maker of candies such as Airheads, Mentos, and more donated more than 54,000 pounds of candy to food pantries throughout Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Hunger Initiative. The announcement was made at God's Pantry Food Bank in Winchester. Present at the event were, from left, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles, Sylvia Buxton, President and CEO of Perfetti Van Melle North America, and Danielle Bozarth, Vice President Mission Delivery at God’s Pantry Food Bank. Image courtesy Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Sept. 21, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Talk about a sweet donation! Food banks in Kentucky are getting more than 50,000 pounds of candy.

Perfetti Van Melle, maker of candies like Airheads and Mentos, is treating Kentucky food pantries with more than 54,000 pounds of candy.

Two truckloads of Airheads and Fruit-tella gummies are coming to three panties in the Bluegrass.

The donation is part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Hunger Initiative to ensure food pantries have enough supplies for the colder months.

The pantries that will get the candy are: God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland in Elizabethtown and Northern Kentucky Area Development District food pantry in Independence.

"This donation is a reminder that food banks, which often focus on providing fresh, nutrient-rich foods, can sometimes add an element of surprise to their offerings and put a smile on the faces of those who need it most," Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles said in a release. "Through our Kentucky Hunger Initiative, we mostly highlight donations of fresh, Kentucky farm produce for our food insecure families. But being able to bring a 'sweet' surprise is rewarding, too."

The privately-owned global candy company is headquartered in Italy and the Netherlands, but its U.S. operations are solely based out of Erlanger, Kentucky. The donation, which was two full truckloads, contained 55 pallets of candy including some of the company’s most beloved brands such as Airheads bars, Airheads Xtremes Bites, and Fruit-tella Soft Gummies.

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