State Policy Priorities
Each year Pennsylvania's General Assembly, through negotiations with the Governor, decide how much money to provide for various programs - including food and nutrition assistance programs. Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's major funding priority is the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP).
SFPP is the Commonwealth's most significant contribution to the effort of Pennsylvania's food banks, food pantries and other providers of nutritional assistance to acquire and distribute food to Pennsylvanians with low-incomes.
SFPP provides greatly needed resources to all 67 counties for the purchase of food and nutritional supplements, for critical food provider transportation and infrastructure needs, and to cover the charges associated with accessing federal food commodities. SFPP is an essential tool for Pennsylvania’s food banks and food pantries in the effort to help meet the basic needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
History of SFPP Funding and Eligibility
- Before the recession began, funding for SFPP within the PA Department of Agriculture was at $18.75 million.
- Since fiscal year 2006-2007, funding has dropped 7.5% -- to $17.338 million in FY 12-13.
- The number of Pennsylvanians eligible for the program has significantly increased since FY 06-07.
- If the level of funding for the program in FY 06-07 was indexed for food inflation costs, the FY 13-14 appropriation would be $23.75 million.
The rise in food costs not only hurts low-income Pennsylvanians buying their own food, it also hurts charitable food providers like the Food Bank. SFPP funds are used by the Food Bank to purchase some of the nutritious food we provide to people in need. However, with costs of food rising and SFPP funding remaining the same, we are not able to buy as much food as we once could.
*Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank seeks alignment with Hunger-Free Pennsylvania and Feeding Pennsylvania on state policy priorities.