BLOG: Fighting Hunger In Pennsylvania, All Year Long

By: Mary Isenhour, Governor Wolf's Chief of Staff

December 11, 2015

The season of giving is upon us, and one of the most important things we can all give is our time. Today, Governor Wolf and I stopped by Downtown Daily Bread to help serve lunch to needy Harrisburg residents.

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Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf understand how serious the issue of hunger in Pennsylvania is, and are personally invested in addressing it. Every year, they contribute to food charities throughout the commonwealth and volunteer their time at local soup kitchens.

According to the most recent data, more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians — one in seven — are at risk of hunger and may not know when their next meal is coming. That number includes over 564,000 children — one in five. These numbers are alarming to governor, myself, and the entire administration. That’s why we are so committed to improving food security in Pennsylvania.

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Governor Wolf has secured in the current budget framework the largest investment in years to the commonwealth’s food security systems. That includes $3 million to fund — for the first time — the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). PASS will provide the state’s emergency food providers with resources to support Pennsylvania’s farmers who produce locally-sourced foods to those who need it most.

In September, Governor Wolf also issued an executive order to establish a ‘Governor’s Food Security Partnership,’ in which a newly-appointed advisor will serve a variety of duties to promote interagency cooperation to evaluate and strengthen the state’s policies on fighting hunger.

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While the Wolf Administration continues to work to engage the private sector, non-profits, and other stakeholders in developing a long-term, sustainable way to ensure Pennsylvanians aren’t going hungry, we can all contribute to our own communities. Whether it’s donating to the local food bank, or spending your lunch hour serving soup to the needy — please remember that these seemingly small efforts can go a long way with those struggling to figure out their next meal.

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