Organizations Across Pennsylvania Join Ag Secretary in Calling for TEFAP Waiver Extension

On Friday, June 26, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue pleading for his continuance of Pennsylvania’s waiver for the need to collect client names and addresses and verify income eligibility for those receiving USDA Foods through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2020.

Senator Bob Casey, PA Congressional Delegation, Hunger Free PA, Feeding Pennsylvania, PA State Council of Farm Organizations, and PA State Grange echoed Secretary Redding’s message to Secretary Perdue by writing letters of support.

As a direct result of COVID-19, Pennsylvania’s charitable food system continues to experience stress from unprecedented demand. A survey of Feeding American member food banks in Pennsylvania revealed that they are seeing an average increase in demand of more than 50 percent since the pandemic began. In a state that normally serves approximately two million people annually through our emergency food response in all 67 counties, data collected since the end of March shows that Pennsylvania’s charitable food system has served more than 5.5 million people in just three months. Allowing Pennsylvania’s food banks to forgo data collection for providing USDA Foods can help to alleviate further bottlenecks at food distributions, where lines are already long.