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October 26, 2017

Blueprint for a Hunger-Free PA — One-Year Report

Gov. Tom Wolf’s Food Security Partnership released a comprehensive plan for a hunger-free Pennsylvania last fall.  Since the plan’s release, progress has been made toward the plan’s goals, including improving access to nutritious food and employment training, connecting to health care, and reducing food waste.

A new report from the Department of Human Services outlines progress at the one-year mark.  LAMPa staff and advocates attended meetings in October to hear updates and plan the next steps in ending hunger for the approximately 1.7 million Pennsylvanians who experience food insecurity.

 MADE IT EASIER TO GET BENEFITS 
More than 350,000 people have benefited from a simplified application to ease renewal of benefits and avoid renewing their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits annually.

 IMPROVED ACCESS TO WIC 
When a newborn is enrolled in Medicaid, information about WIC is now mailed to the family.

 LET MORE FAMILIES KNOW ABOUT SUMMER MEALS 
Postcards were mailed with summer food information to SNAP households with children. This resulted in an increase of about 24,000 more text messages from people looking for food resources in 2017 than in 2016.

 FOCUSED ON HEALTHY FOOD
Since April 2016, the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Surplus Systemhas distributed more than 5 million pounds of product from 91 farmers to 814,000 households.

 EXPANDED ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
DHS established five SNAP employment training sites and teamed up with Work Ready vendors to provide employment to Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, allowing them to keep their SNAP benefits.

 GREW MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIPS 
DHS combined forces with local food alliances, SNAP education partners, SNAP outreach partners, and Healthy Corner Stores to discuss best practices, spread awareness, and provide screenings.

 REDUCED WASTE
The What A Waste program was piloted in nine senior community centers and decreased food waste sent to landfills by 74 percent.

 DREW IMPORTANT CONNECTIONS TO HEALTH CARE
HealthChoices managed care organizations are implementing food security programs because of the link between nutrition and health outcomes.

 PROVIDED EDUCATION & TRAINING
County assistance office staff in 14 counties completed WIC 101 training.

Visit the Ending Hunger website for food resources, a map of local pantries, ways you can help fight hunger in your community, and more.

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