Expanded Federal Food Program to Provide Nutritional Support to More than 32,000 Older Pennsylvanians - Program Now Serving Residents of All 67 Counties.
A federal food program administered by the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Food Distribution has been expanded and will serve more than 32,000 older Pennsylvanians in every county, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today while visiting Philabundance, a large hunger relief organization in southeast Pennsylvania.
"More than 1.4 million state residents are at-risk for hunger, many of whom are older adults living on a fixed income," said Redding. "The expanded funding for our Commodity Supplemental Food Program allows us to provide an additional 18,000 citizens with the nutrition that they need to remain healthy. Fewer people will face the awful choice of whether to buy groceries or pay their bills."
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP, provides food including canned fruits and vegetables, non-fat dry and evaporated milk, juice, pasta, oats, peanut butter, poultry, canned meats and more, mostly to senior citizens and those eligible for, but not served by, the Women, Infants and Children Program.
Pennsylvania now has the nation's fourth-largest caseload of CSFP recipients and is one of only five states to serve more than 32,000 residents. Prior to the expansion, the program was only able to provide food to residents of 31 counties.
The commonwealth continues to work aggressively to help those at-risk for hunger. Earlier this year, it distributed more than $2.7 million of cheddar and mozzarella cheese to local food pantries and food banks. The cheese distribution helped those in need as well as the state's dairy industry, which is the largest sector of Pennsylvania's agriculture economy.
"In a state that enjoys an almost year-round harvest, it is unacceptable that there are citizens who are unsure of where their next meal will come from," Redding added. "As one of only five states with a supplemental nutrition program, Pennsylvania is working each day to connect our vibrant farm community with those who are struggling to get the food they need."
For more information about the CSFP and other state efforts to combat hunger, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search "Food Distribution."
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