The Pennsylvania Governor's Food Security Partnership published its final report on December 15, indicating that food insecurity has decreased by 37% since the beginning of Democrat Tom Wolf's administration.
“Food is a basic human right that has the power to change lives,” Wolf said in a press release. “This Food Policy Council will work for the people of Pennsylvania; to improve their everyday lives and our collective future. It is our responsibility and our duty to take hunger off the table.”
The Pennsylvania Food Policy Council, established through an executive order by Wolf on December 15, has pledged to continue evaluating the issues facing the state's food system and developing strategies to improve food security and nutrition while also reducing food waste. The nine-person council will include a director alongside the secretaries of the Departments of Aging, Agriculture, Education, Environmental Protection, Health, Human Services and Labor & Industry.
Among the council's priorities are working to reduce food waste across the state and building upon partnerships to better reach those at the highest risk of hunger and expand food and nutrition delivery systems. The council is also tasked with making recommendations to promote coordination, communication and joint planning between agency programs and external partners in the private sector to support the food system.
Yet another way of reducing hunger, which the council will consider, is using the state's agricultural products to feed both public ad private food assistance programs.
Finally, the council is charged with developing a Food Action Plan to be updated on a biennial basis and include a strategic plan to accomplish goals and measure progress.
“Because of the collaborative efforts between public, private and nonprofit partners, nearly 700,000 of our neighbors, friends and colleagues no longer have to wonder when or where they may find their next meal," Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf said. “And while many of us will not be content until hunger is fully eradicated, we must take this moment to appreciate how far we’ve come, learn from our experiences and rededicate ourselves to creating a Pennsylvania that is truly hunger-free.”