Wolf Administration Hosts Local Food Alliance Event
June 20, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Today, First Lady Frances Wolf was joined by Department of Education Secretary Pedro Rivera and Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding as she hosted a meeting for local food alliances to develop partnerships and establish ways to address regional food alliance gaps. Additionally, the First Lady called upon state legislators to strongly consider the additional $2 million in critical funding to increase the existing school breakfast program.
“This is an issue that is deeply important to both the governor and me,” First Lady Wolf said. “We have seen firsthand how hunger affects families and communities and we are personally committed to ending hunger in Pennsylvania. This $2 million is a relatively small, but smart investment that will have an enormous return. Children who start their day with necessary nutrition grow up smarter, healthier, and stronger, resulting in a smarter, healthier, and stronger Pennsylvania.”
The funding will be administered through the Department of Education as competitive grants to schools that adopt alternative breakfast delivery models, including “Breakfast After the Bell” models in elementary schools and “Grab ‘n’ Go” models in middle and high schools. The funds will be targeted to those schools with student populations with more than 60 percent of children receiving subsidized meals, and will leverage up to an additional $20 million in federal funding.
The meeting is one step in meeting the goal of establishing a local food alliance in every county to combat hunger in Pennsylvania communities specified in the administration’s food security plan – Setting the Table: Blueprint for a Hunger-Free PA (Blueprint).
“The local food alliances are critical to accomplishing the goal of the Blueprint,” said Wolf. “Each group understands the needs of community members and the issues individuals they serve face every day. I would like to thank each alliance and its members for their tireless efforts to combat food insecurities across Pennsylvania.”
The Blueprint was released in September 2016, to address hunger in PA, and as a response to Governor Wolf’s executive order establishing the Governor’s Food Security Partnership (Partnership). The Partnership compromised of the secretaries of the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services, established the following goals by 2020:
- Every county and/or region in Pennsylvania will have a local food alliance to combat hunger in their local communities.
- The SNAP participation rate will increase from 90 percent to 98 percent or higher.
- The number of children benefiting from free and reduced price meals during the school year (linked to nutrition programs in summer) will increase from 20 percent to 30 percent.
- Sixty percent of students benefiting from free and reduced priced school meals will participate in school breakfast. This is an increase from 47 percent in 2014-15.
- The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program redemption rate will increase from 308,000 to 340,000 checks annually.
- Double SNAP Bucks will be available at all highly accessible, high-need farmers’ markets, and additional SNAP recipients will have access to SNAP employment and training and SNAP education.
- Pennsylvanians will have streamlined access to food security information and benefits.
- The average number of people participating in WIC programs will increase from over 245,000 to 260,000.
- Pennsylvania will improve access to healthy, nutritious food.
For more information on Governor Wolf’s proposed budget, click here.
For more information and resources to fight hunger throughout the commonwealth, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/ending-hunger.