Sign the Letter to Governor Wolf
Please join Hunger-Free Pennsylvania and numerous anti-hunger organizations by signing the letter below, supporting a budget recommendation of $21 Million for the State Food Purchase Program and $5 Million for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System in the State FY 2016-17 budget.
Dear Governor Wolf,
As leaders of organizations working towards the elimination of hunger throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we offer our sincere thanks for the many positive steps you have taken to ease the pain of hunger which is still experienced by too many of our fellow Pennsylvanians. Your establishment of the Food Security Partnership; appointment of an Advisor on Food and Nutrition Programs; and inclusion of funding for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS) among your budget recommendations for the current year are especially appreciated. We ask that you use the FY 2016-2017 Budget to build on this foundation. Specifically, we recommend the following:
$21 million for the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP), and
$5 million for the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS)
We believe that these relatively modest investments of Commonwealth resources will yield great benefits for Pennsylvanians struggling with hunger.
Please note that adequate funding for these programs is our primary concern. However, it is critically important to us that SFPP and PASS be treated as separate and distinct appropriations rather than including PASS as an optional item within the SFPP line, as was done in the FY 2015-16 budget proposal. SFPP and PASS were established at different times through separate acts of the General Assembly. While their goals are complementary, their means are quite different. The clarity provided by separate line items will be of great help in describing the unique contributions of each program to our clients, supporters, the General Assembly and the public.
In a recent study of the economic cost of hunger, the analysts of The Perryman Group concluded that: “In addition to enormous human costs, hunger imposes severe costs on the economy. Not having sufficient food leads to a number of problems, both individually and for society as a whole. Providing for basic food needs for all citizens is a worthy societal goal, and expanding and supporting food banks and the charitable distribution network they support can facilitate meeting this need.” SFPP and PASS help meet this need in Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your consideration of our recommendations and for your commitment to ending hunger in Pennsylvania. We look forward to working with you to make certain that the Commonwealth’s next budget moves us closer to that goal.