Don’t Go Without This Holiday Season, Food Assistance Programs Fill Holiday Meal Gaps

Don’t Go Without This Holiday Season, Food Assistance Programs Fill Holiday Meal Gaps

HARRISBURG, PA — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller are reminding Pennsylvanians to take advantage of food assistance programs and Thanksgiving baskets from local organizations to fill gaps in their holiday meal plans.

“No one should go without this holiday season. In a year like 2020, we all need the comfort of tradition,” said Agriculture Secretary Redding. “Pennsylvania’s food assistance programs were built for times like these and no one should be too shy to take advantage of what they have to offer.“

And, by using vouchers for programs like the Farmers Market Nutrition Program to purchase fruits and vegetables to complement your turkey, you’re supporting your neighborhood farmers who have worked harder than ever to provide for Pennsylvania this year,” added Redding.

Pennsylvanians looking for a turkey, side dishes, or ingredients to make their family favorites and keep traditions alive amid the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to take advantage of the following options:

  • Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Vouchers – seniors and WIC participants with vouchers from the Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program are encouraged to redeem them at a participating farmers market or farm stand for Pennsylvania-produced fresh fruits and vegetables. In-season products such as apples, potatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turnips, brussels sprouts and more are the perfect complement to a Thanksgiving meal. FMNP vouchers issued in 2020 expire November 30, 2020.
  • SNAP – The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps Pennsylvanians purchase fresh food and groceries for recipients, helping families with limited or strained resources be able to keep food on the table while meeting other bills and needs. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania joined a pilot program from the federal government allowing SNAP recipients to purchase food online through certain approved retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Shoprite. Pennsylvanians can apply for SNAP at any time online at www.compass.state.pa.us.
  • PA211.org – use this resource to search for Thanksgiving baskets or find a local organization distributing holiday food packages
  • Find a turkey – many local food banks, food pantries, and other emergency feeding organizations provide turkeys or vouchers for turkeys and ingredients for a traditional holiday meal. Find local emergency feeding organizations online.
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”Food can be a source of comfort, community, and celebration, and as we celebrate the holiday season safely within our households, we want to be sure that no Pennsylvanian is going hungry this holiday season,” said DHS Secretary Miller. “While we must be mindful of doing all we can to limit interactions outside our household to stop the spread of COVID-19, we need all Pennsylvanians to know that they are not alone through this holiday season. If you need a hand this holiday season, please use these resources.”

For more about the Wolf Administration’s efforts related to food insecurity in Pennsylvania throughout the pandemic, visit agriculture.pa.gov/foodsecurity.

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