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  • Writer's pictureHunger-Free Pennsylvania

Register to Vote Today

American flag waving

The clock is ticking.

Tuesday, Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote for the Nov. 6 General Election. If you want to be a part of the effort to end poverty and hunger in Pennsylvania, then you need to register to vote now.

It’s easy to do. The easiest way to register or update personal information is to do so online by clicking here.

You can also print a voter application and mail it to your county board of elections. All applications need to be post-marked by Tuesday, Oct. 9.

If you are out and about, you can stop by and register by hand at your county voter registration office. Contact your county government offices for more information.

But not matter which way you choose to register, just do it before Oct. 9.

There are serious challenges that can only be solved by advocating for better policy decisions that help families in need. And too many Pennsylvanians still need help.

Nearly 3 million commonwealth residents turned to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families last year. One in seven Pennsylvanians remain at risk of going hungry. We need to do more to address food insecurity.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot in the news about a tsunami of food set to be released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to American food banks, including the Hunger-Free Pennsylvania network.

The food is not charity.

USDA is buying about $1.2 billion in food that farmers are unable to sell abroad because countries are taxing American agriculture products in retaliation against new tariffs. (Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Philadelphia Inquirer and Allentown Morning Call.)

Let’s be clear: This is a one-time influx of food. While it will be helpful in the short term, it will not end hunger or poverty over the long term.

Fully addressing hunger and poverty will require policy changes at the state and federal levels, something we as a community work toward every day --- and among the many reasons residents need to register to vote to ensure their voices are heard.

People spoke up this legislative session and fought against two measures that were nothing more than an assault on struggling Pennsylvanians.

House Bill 1659 and House Bill 2138 would have imposed so-called “work requirements” on individuals who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy food for their families or Medical Assistance to access basic health care services, respectively.

These bills had nothing to do with helping anyone work. They were a ruse for stripping away health care and denying food to struggling families.

Pennsylvanians spoke out and the measures were defeated.

That’s what advocacy is all about. And a big part of advocacy is making sure you are part of the democratic process that decides who your next elected leaders will be.

Time is precious. Life gets in the way. Studies show that scheduling conflicts with work or school are the greatest barriers keeping voters from the polls on Election Day.

This year, one Hunger-Free Pennsylvania member, the Chester County Food Bank, is tearing down those barriers and living its mission to “mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.” The entire staff will be provided paid time off during the working day to vote on Nov. 6.

That is a model of civic engagement.

Voting is one of the most patriotic acts we can participate in as Americans. But before you can vote, you have to register. So take time today to add your name to the list of Pennsylvanians with a voice.

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