Feeding Pennsylvania is a partnership formed among Pennsylvania’s Feeding America member food banks. Our collective effort promotes and aids our members in securing food and other resources to reduce hunger and food insecurity for their communities and across Pennsylvania, and provides a shared voice on the issues of hunger and food access within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Hunger hits every community throughout Pennsylvania and all across America. One out of every 7 Pennsylvanians may not be sure where their next meal will come from.
In fact, one out of every six Americans is at risk of hunger, according to data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These 48 million people—including 15.3 million children, or one in five—do not have reliable access to three nutritious meals each day.
For many individuals, food banks and the local agencies that they serve provide a necessary lifeline. One in eight Americans receives food assistance through the nationwide Feeding America network.
The nation’s federal food assistance programs and network of emergency food provides a critical safety net for those in need. Governmental programs like SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), WIC, the national school lunch and breakfast programs, the emergency food assistance program, and the commodity supplemental food program are designed to help the most vulnerable, providing vital nutrition to Americans.
A lack of nutritious food often leads to more problems: for example, children without enough food are 30 percent more likely to have a history of hospitalization and 1.4 times more likely to repeat a grade. Adults experiencing food insecurity tend to be less productive and use more sick days. An investment in nutrition programs leads to reduced health care and education costs and represents an investment in a healthy future workforce.
With millions of Americans unemployed, the demand for food assistance continues to remain high and food banks are pressed to meet the need in their communities. Feeding Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania’s food banks fight hunger on the front lines.
Useful Web Links
Click on the “Data Sources”, “Government Partners” and “Anti-Hunger Partners” tabs for a full list of links.
- Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA
The blueprint lays out a plan to provide all Pennsylvanians with access to healthy, nutritious food, which will improve their well-being, health, and independence. Pennsylvania will leverage the strength of our community and business partners; federal, state, and local resources; and innovations in the charitable food network to set the table for a hunger-free Pennsylvania.
- Household Food Security in the United States in 2015
The USDA monitors the extent and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households through an annual national survey sponsored by USDA’s Economic Research Service. Reliable monitoring of food security contributes to the effective operation of programs aimed at reducing food insecurity. This report presents statistics from the survey, which covered households’ food security, food expenditures, and use of food and nutrition assistance programs in 2015.
- How Hungry is America?
This report, from the Food Research and Action Center, delves into national, state and local indexes of food hardship across the country. The 2014 study, based on Gallup data, discovered that 17 percent of households in the United States were experiencing food hardship.
- Hunger in America 2014
Feeding America’s “Hunger in America” study is the largest and most comprehensive insight into charitable food distribution in the United States.
- Hunger in Pennsylvania Fact Sheet
- Map the Meal Gap
Feeding America undertook the Map the Meal Gap project to learn more about the face of hunger at the local community level. This data, based on USDA’s annual Household Food Security report, breaks down data about America’s hungry by State, County, and Congressional District. By understanding populations in need, communities can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance.
- Map the Meal Gap: Pennsylvania
Map the Meal Gap is an innovative project that Feeding America produces annually, using data from the USDA Household Food Security report. Map the Meal Gap visualizes data to help depict need in communities, providing a clearer understanding of who is experiencing hunger and how to help them.
- SNAP Helps Struggling Families Put Food On The Table
This chart book highlights some of the key characteristics of people who are utilizing SNAP benefits, a population numbering approximately 44 million, as well as trends and data on program administration and use. It is intended to complement more detailed analysis on particular aspects of SNAP, available on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ website.
- State of Hunger: Pennsylvania 2013
Hunger exists in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, though it’s easy to overlook. Who is affected by food insecurity in Pennsylvania? What resources are available to people living with it? Most importantly, what more can we do to make sure they get the help that they need? These are some of the questions that the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger aims to answer in this report.
- Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Food Distribution
With more than 1.8 million citizens at risk for hunger, the Bureau of Food Distribution is a vital part of the process that helps move food from the farm to the dinner table so more people can share in Pennsylvania’s bountiful harvest. The Bureau manages Pennsylvania’s food and funding allocations for programs such as the State Food Purchase Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the National School Lunch Program, the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and others.
- Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
The mission of DCED is to foster opportunities for businesses to grow and for communities to succeed and thrive. DCED administers the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) – a program whose goal is improving distressed neighborhoods throughout Pennsylvania by using tax credits as an incentive to forge partnerships between community-based organizations and the business community. Through the NAP Charitable Food Program, qualifying food banks and other emergency food providers are supplied with tax credits that can be awarded to those in the private sector who provide food and monetary support to assist these organizations.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition
Every school day in Pennsylvania, more than 600,000 low-income students receive nutritious meals through the federal Child Nutrition Programs. These programs, administered at the state level by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, include: the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program. Through participation in these programs, low-income children are assured access to healthy, nutritious foods, which help them to grow, learn, and thrive.
- Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
The mission of the Department of Human Services is to promote, improve and sustain the quality of family life, break the cycle of dependency, promote respect for employees, protect and serve Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, and manage our resources effectively. Among the many programs administered by DHS is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
- USDA, Food and Nutrition Service
FNS works to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs, including WIC, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and school meals. In partnership with State and Tribal governments, FNS programs serve one in four Americans during the course of a year.
- Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Bread for the World members write personal letters to and meet with our members of Congress, among other initiatives.
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities conducts research and provides data analysis that helps to shape public debates and ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals. This organization also develops policy options to alleviate poverty.
- Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America network members supply food to more than 46 million Americans each year. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 60,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms.
- Food Research and Action Center
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. FRAC works with hundreds of organizations across the country to address hunger and food insecurity, along with their root cause, poverty.
- Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger strives to build a community in which all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives. The Coalition connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education, provides resources to a network of food pantries, and educates both the public and policymakers about responsible solutions that prevent people from going hungry.
- Hunger-Free Pennsylvania
Hunger-Free Pennsylvania (HFPA) is a network comprised of 21 members working together to fight hunger in Pennsylvania. Members of HFPA include food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, charities, and other hunger relief organizations.
- Hunters Sharing the Harvest
Since 1991, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) venison donation program has coordinated the processing and distribution of donated wild game from hunters to hungry people throughout Pennsylvania. This sportsmen-inspired community service outreach effectively channels wholesome venison product via an integrated network of approved deer producers and food banks down to numerous local charitable feeding organizations in Pennsylvania’s urban and rural communities.
- MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger in the United States and Israel. Through its three interrelated strategies – advocacy and education, partnership grant making and strategic initiatives – MAZON is acting to ensure that hungry people have access to the nutritious food they need today and working to develop and advance long- term solutions so that no one goes hungry tomorrow.
- National Commodity Supplemental Food Program Association
The National CSFP Association works to promote the Commodity Supplemental Food Program as an effective means for improving the health and nutritional well-being of low income pregnant and post-partum woman, infants, children and seniors. In promoting this program, the National CSFP Association provides leadership in program advocacy, accountability, healthy food delivery, and nutrition education.
- Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership was created after a group of volunteers from all walks of life in the Southwest Pennsylvania region joined a task force dedicated to the proposition that 370,000 people confronting food insecurity is unacceptable, from any ethical or practical perspective.