Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is thanking food banks, farmers, volunteers and others across the state for helping to feed Pennsylvania families during the pandemic. Today, the governor visited the York County Food Bank’s East York Emergency Food Hub, which provides groceries to approximately 2,000 families each Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The York County Food Bank has provided 2.4 million meals and volunteers donated more than 4,000 hours at drive-thru, walk-thru and pop-up distribution at locations throughout the county since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The Wolf Administration has invested in several initiatives to address food insecurity, including $50 million through the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program to purchase surplus milk and other dairy products, chicken, pork and fresh produce from Pennsylvania farmers who lost markets for their products because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and $40 million in funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and food security programs, following months of uncertainty and loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, $15 million will provide an opportunity for dairy farmers to receive direct relief payments and $5 million will go to reimburse farmers donating dairy products through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). This Department of Agriculture program helps food producers donate safe food to food banks and be reimbursed for harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting costs of donated food.
An additional $15 million will be used for cash grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of food to low income individuals through the State Food Purchase Program and $5 million will go to the PASS program to reimburse the agricultural industry for the costs involved in harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting food that they donate to the charitable food system.
Visitors to food banks can get groceries through June 25 without providing financial eligibility under the Disaster Household Distribution program, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The Department of Agriculture estimates that in 2020, $80 million in food will be distributed through Pennsylvania’s charitable food system in all 67 counties, using the state’s allocation of federal TEFAP funds. More food security resources are available here.