Feeding Pennsylvania recognizes the challenges hunger relief organizations face in assisting our neighbors in need and is uniquely positioned to provide solutions. However, we also recognize that we alone cannot fully meet these challenges. Fighting hunger requires a private/public partnership, and our food banks rely on federal and state investments in critical anti-hunger programs to help us meet this challenge.
With so many families struggling to make ends meet and food banks stretched thin, we urge the United States Congress to protect and strengthen anti-hunger programs. Furthermore, we urge the Wolf Administration and the Pennsylvania State Legislature to provide a necessary increase in funding for the State Food Purchase Program to $21 million.
To read a full list of our policy priorities for 2016, compiled by our Policy Engagement Task Force, click here.
Annual Federal Appropriations
Feeding Pennsylvania is engaged in advocating for a strong Federal anti-hunger safety net through the Annual Appropriations process and ensuring programs like TEFAP, CSFP, and WIC have adequate funding to meet the need. We may need your help to ensure that these programs are adequately funded – please check back for more information as federal fiscal appropriations are discussed.
Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System
PASS is an innovative program for putting healthy and nutritious food grown by Pennsylvania farmers into the charitable food system. Through PASS, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture provides funding for charitable organizations to purchase fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, beef, pork, and poultry (much-needed items at food banks and their agencies) from producers at a reduced cost. Money from the PASS program also can assist in helping farmers recoup costs of packing or harvesting for food they wish to donate. Significant portions of the product purchased through PASS is food that is perfectly nutritious and edible but might otherwise become waste.
Pennsylvania State Food Purchase Program
Pennsylvania’s State Food Purchase Program provides essential funding to all 67 counties to support the purchase and distribution of food to our most vulnerable, low-income citizens, and to provide enhanced access to surplus federal food commodities. These funds are intended to supplement the efforts of food banks, food pantries, and similar organizations in their efforts to reduce hunger. Along with our other anti-hunger partners in PA, Feeding Pennsylvania is engaged in advocating for strong funding for this program.
Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act authorizes all of the federal child nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, and WIC. These programs provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods where they live, play, and learn. Congress reviews these programs through the reauthorization process, which will most likely take place in 2016. While Feeding Pennsylvania is still developing specific priorities for this legislation, general priorities will include continuing to expand the reach of the Afterschool Meal Program, strengthening the Summer Nutrition Programs, continuing to support the momentum of school breakfast expansion in every state, and ensuring that school children have access to nutrition foods during weekends and extended school holidays.
Please help us advocate for public policy change on the federal, state and local levels. The easiest way to do that is by signing up at the Hunger Action Center. You will receive updates on current advocacy activities and be given the opportunity to contact your state and federal legislators to make your voice heard.