The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank advocates for policies that protect individuals and families from hunger. Help us build a powerful movement. Together, government, employers, communities, neighbors, and others can address the root causes of food insecurity to ensure that every family has access to adequate food and nutrition.
is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as “food stamps.” SNAP provides a monthly benefit to qualified, low income consumers to purchase food. SNAP benefits are provided via an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card—in Pennsylvania. To qualify, a household must have gross monthly income less than 160 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (currently $3,280 for a family of four). Families receive benefits monthly, which can be spent at authorized food retailers such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmers markets. SNAP benefits may only be spent on food.
is the Emergency Food Assistance Program. TEFAP is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases a variety of nutritious, high-quality USDA Foods, and makes those foods available to states, who then make it available to food banks. Food banks then distribute the food to local organizations, such as meal sites and food pantries that directly serve the public. TEFAP is the final safety net to protect against food insecurity.
is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. CSFP is the federally funded program that works to supplement the diets and improve the health of qualifying low-income individuals with USDA foods. The program typically provides nutritious, shelf-stable food to more than 600,000 low-income seniors each year and 30 pounds of shelf-stable food to participating seniors each month.
Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS)
PASS covers the costs associated with harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting surplus agricultural products including fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs and meat to donate those items to the charitable food system. The program is funded by the state budget through the PA Department of Agriculture. The Food Bank advocates for a $3 million appropriation for this program in the 2019-2020 state budget.
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The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is committed to protecting the funding and structure of the Federal Nutrition programs that form the backbone of our nation’s response to hunger. We are urging Congress to support programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
SNAP benefits and eligibility must be protected. Without a strong SNAP program, the charitable response to hunger will not be able to meet the need. Negative changes to its funding or structure could result in millions of meals lost over the next decade. SNAP responds quickly to changes in need, growing in response to increases in poverty and unemployment, and declining as unemployment falls. The program is effective, provides a path out of poverty and hunger, and leads to improved educational outcomes, productivity and health.
CSFP is a senior box program that works to improve the health of our seniors by providing monthly nutritious food packages to low-income senior citizens who meet certain age and income requirements. Each month, participants receive an estimated 26 pounds of USDA commodities.
TEFAP food is an important part of how the Food Bank provides nutritious food to those in need. Funding levels for TEFAP foods are set by the Farm Bill, and the funds are included in yearly appropriations legislation. Last year, in recognition of consistently high demand at our Food Bank, the appropriations legislation including additional TEFAP funding.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank works closely with the Pennsylvania General Assembly to advocate for anti-hunger programs at the state level, including the State Food Purchase Program and the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System.
Pennsylvania State Food Purchase Program (SFPP)
The State Food Purchase Program provides grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of nutritious food to low-income individuals. The program is funded by the state budget via the PA Department of Agriculture. The food bank advocates for a $21 million appropriation for this program in the 2019-20 state budget.
PA Agricultural Surplus System (PASS):
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System covers the costs associated with harvesting, processing, packaging, and transporting surplus agricultural products including fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs and meat to donate those items to the charitable food system. The program is funded by the state budget through the PA Department of Agriculture. The Food Bank advocates for a $3 million appropriation for this program in the 2019-20 state budget.
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