Governor's Budget Proposes Level Funding for SFPP
Governor Corbett addressed a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly on February 5 to present his budget recommendations for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2013. It was encouraging that he specifically mentioned the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) in his speech. In describing his recommendations for the Agriculture portion of his budget, he stated that SFPP provides “critical help to Pennsylvanians who are at risk of having too little to eat.” At the same time, it was disappointing that the Governor’s budget did not call for increased funding for the program. Once again, the Governor recommended keeping the SFPP appropriation at the current level of $17,338,000.
We now have several months to try to convince our Senators and Representatives in the General Assembly to make certain that the final budget includes additional funding for this critial food and nutrition assistance program. In meetings and other communications, we have already begun to make the case for increased funding by providing legislative leaders with some startling facts:
In 2006-2007 the appropriation for SFPP was $18,750,000. Since then...
• the funding has dropped by 7.5% to $17,338,000
• the number of low-income Pennsylvanians eligible for help through SFPP has grown by 42.9% - to nearly 1,360,000 of our fellow Pennsylvanians
• the cost of food has increased by 40%
• the cost of fuel has increased by 56.4%
We are also sharing with our elected officials the disturbing facts regarding the economic costs of hunger and the impact of food insecurity on children, seniors and the working poor. These facts may persuade some to pay attention to the problem of hunger in our community and support a higher level of funding for SFPP. But facts alone will not do the job. Our State Senators and Representatives need to hear from their constituents - they need to hear from you.
We will continue to communicate with you about the budget process as it relates to the State Food Purchase Program, and hope you will join us in the next couple of months to advocate for this important program and the struggling Pennsylvanians the program helps.
WANT TO KNOW MORE...?
Visit Hunger-Free Pennsylvania's website for more information about the program and a copy of their response to Governor Corbett's budget proposal.