PA’s Food Assistance Programs To Tackle The Chronic Food Crises

food crises
Credit: Climate & Capitalism

Food crises have occurred in various parts of the world and are likely to happen during unfavorable situations or emergency conditions. Governor Tom Wolf’s administration has taken the initiative to encourage programs that provide assistance to Pennsylvanians in fulfilling nutrient-rich food requirements during the coronavirus pandemic, reports NorthcentralPA.

Insufficient food supply affects the growth, development, and overall health of individuals. It results in weak bodies that are prone to attacks of germs. Moreover, the food crisis increases the risk of developing diseases and being hospitalized.

Governor Tom Wolf issued a disaster declaration in Pennsylvania. As a result, the administration was able to get more than $1 billion as funds for helping the Pennsylvanians throughout the COVID-19 crisis. According to administration officials, the final decision will occur after the elections, whether the disaster declaration process will continue as it is or the formation of a new assistance program will occur. The decision depends on what Pennsylvanians choose.

Administration’s Efforts To Handle Food Crises During Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak disrupts the lives of Pennsylvanians and people around the globe. Coronavirus outbreak increases the risk of food crises. According to Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, food insecurity rates have risen by 30%. The efforts and timely action of the administration make it possible for every Pennsylvanian to get nutrient-balanced food for themselves and their families.

According to Redding, even after recovering from the COVID-19 crisis administration will continue to support people by providing them food as Pennsylvanians are likely to face food insecurities in 2021. The administration has sufficient resources to help about 1.5 million Pennsylvanians who are most likely to face difficulty getting adequate food.

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According to a survey conducted by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 22 million adults across the United States in February 2021 did not have sufficient food. This number is double that of the year 2019.

In Pennsylvania, about 12 percent of adults and 17 percent of children are experiencing a nutrient deficiency due to insufficient food crises. However, from March 2020 Pennsylvania government, charitable organizations, and authorities have offered more than 283 million pounds of food to Pennsylvanians. Every week, about 551700 Pennsylvanians get to eat food through the food assistance program. The edibles provided include dairy products, proteins, and fresh nutrient-rich products that boost the immune system and help in improving health.

SNAP Funds To Improve Health

During coronavirus, as it is essential to maintain a healthy life, the survivors of coronavirus develop weaknesses and require a proper nutrient-rich diet. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the food assistance programs that helps people nationwide to get necessary food items, avoid hunger, and get proper nutrients through a balanced diet.

The SNAP funds provide dietary assistance to more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians. The program is funded by the federal government and is designed to fulfill the supplemental needs of people who have the lowest income during coronavirus pandemics.

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SNAP funds can only be used to purchase certain grocery items, fresh food products, dairy items, meat, and other healthy edibles. These funds are provided on a monthly basis and will help households tackle the food crises and insufficiency. After an agreement between Community Legal Services and the United States Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvanians that are eligible for SNAP funds under Pennsylvania’s disaster declaration will receive an additional emergency monthly allowance.

The updated version of policies will result in more than $150 million allocated for SNAP funds to aid the Pennsylvania population in getting a sufficient food supply. These funds will assist in fulfilling dietary and supplemental requirements and help in improving the local economy.

Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.