State officers introduced Thursday that the Division of Agriculture obtained a greater than $8.8 million enhance in federal funding for meals entry for low-income seniors by way of the Senior Farmers Market Diet Program.
Pennsylvania will obtain greater than 17.6 % of $50 million in American Rescue Plan grants that the U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) awarded to 47 states to spice up every state’s program in 2023 and 2024.
Primarily based on the division’s latest efficiency, the USDA additionally elevated the variety of low-income senior Pennsylvanians the division can serve with Senior Meals Packing containers. The division will have the ability to present a further 4,000-plus seniors with nutritious meals staples by way of the federally funded program. Pennsylvania obtained the biggest enhance amongst solely 11 states receiving performance-based caseload bumps, elevating the variety of seniors to be served statewide from 36,218 to 40,225.
This enhance in funding for the Division of Agriculture comes at a vital time, with greater than 1.9 million Pennsylvanians — lots of them seniors — dealing with imminent modifications to their Supplemental Diet Help Program (SNAP) eligibility prompted by federal authorities and congressional motion. These modifications will trigger an instantaneous and vital discount in month-to-month meals help funds starting March 1.
In keeping with Feeding America’s most up-to-date report on The State of Senior Starvation in America, 5 % of Pennsylvanians age 60 and older had been food-insecure, not understanding the supply of their subsequent meal. The division’s Bureau of Meals Help administers federal and state packages and fosters partnerships aimed toward growing meals safety throughout Pennsylvania.
The American Rescue Plan funds will enable the division to extend the greenback quantity from $24 to $50 for vouchers provided to eligible seniors to redeem for contemporary, native meals by way of the Senior Farmers Market Program. Funding may even allow added comfort for a lot of farm market distributors who settle for the vouchers, by way of embedded QR codes that make deposit simpler.
Senior Farmers Market Diet Program vouchers are issued from June by way of the top of September annually by Space Businesses on Getting older. Seniors with family incomes under 185 % of the federal poverty degree are eligible. Particular revenue ranges for 2023 haven’t but been established. Vouchers could be redeemed for contemporary, wholesome, regionally produced meals at farm markets statewide, boosting senior well being by way of improved vitamin and the social interplay a farm market outing gives.
• Extra data: Go to agriculture.pa.gov.
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