Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pa. Lawmakers Must Ensure Proper Funds for Food Programs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pa. Lawmakers Must Ensure Proper Funds for Food Programs

Article excerpt

Pennsylvania's charitable food programs are being squeezed by higher demand for services, higher food prices and stagnant state funding. It's unsustainable.

The State Food Purchase Program is one of our most important tools in the fight against hunger. Yet, for years, the program has been chronically underfunded. In 2006-07, the state allotted $18.75 million for SFPP. Since then, funding has dropped 7.5 percent to $17.4 million. The current budget kept funding flat.

At the same time, food insecurity among Pennsylvanians has increased to 14.2 percent of our population from 10 percent. An estimated 2 million people in Pennsylvania - one in seven - turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves.

Families and food pantries alike are feeling the pinch. …

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