More than 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors are eligible for the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box, but only about 35,000 are enrolled to receive it this year. Seniors often face barriers to access for food assistance programs such as mobility, technology, and stigma. This food box program aims to overcome those barriers by being available for drop off or drive through in addition to pick up and, now, by reducing stigma and red tape with the removal of income verification requirements.
PA SENIOR FOOD BOX PROGRAM (FORMERLY CSFP)
Hunger-Free Pennsylvania is the single largest provider of meals to older Pennsylvanians through the Pa. Senior Food Box Program. The program is administered on behalf of the Department of Agriculture by Hunger-Free Pennsylvania through our network of 17 food banks serving all 67 counties.
Once signed up, eligible seniors can choose to receive their monthly box via pick up, drive-through, or delivery from a program partner including senior apartment complexes, senior community centers, and food pantries.
The Senior Food Box Program works to improve the health of low-income seniors by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. In Pennsylvania, eligible participants include low-income individuals who are at least 60 years old and whose household income is at or below 130 percent of the U.S. poverty level.
The senior food boxes do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of older Americans. Among the types of foods included in the food boxes are: non-fat dry and shelf-stable fluid milk, juice, oats, ready-to-eat cereal, rice, pasta, dry beans, peanut butter, canned meat, poultry, or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables.
The Senior Food Box Program is supported through USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program. The USDA purchases the food and makes it available to the Department of Agriculture, which works with local non-profit agencies to facilitate distribution of the monthly food boxes to eligible participants.
Still, more than 369,221 Pennsylvania seniors are eligible for Senior Food Box benefits. Use this tool to apply for the PA Senior Food Box.
** As of April 1, 2021 the Pa. Senior Food Box Program (formerly the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, aka CSFP) no longer requires proof of income in Pennsylvania. Qualifying seniors include low-income individuals who are at least 60 years old and whose household income is at or below 130 percent of the U.S. poverty level.
Pennsylvania Hunger Action Coalition (PHAC)
Hunger-Free Pennsylvania spearheads the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Coalition, a group which comprises anti-hunger, religious, anti-poverty, economic and other nonprofit groups working not only to fight hunger but also to address the underlying policy issues that perpetuate food insecurity. Among its work:
Develop annual goals and objectives complimentary of the mission of each member.
Support the work of the larger group by participating in planning, activities and events.
Inform all local units and affiliates, departments and administrative offices of activities of the coalition and request participation.
PHAC also has a task force within the state Department of Human Services and two within the state Department of Education designed to address social determinants that lead to hunger.
If your organization would like to join the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Coalition, please contact Hunger-Free Pennsylvania Executive Director Sheila Christopher by phone at 724-941-1472 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.