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September is Hunger Action Month! 

September is Hunger Action Month which is the perfect time to bring more awareness to the millions of Americans who are food insecure. You can take action to help Pennsylvanians who struggle to afford healthy, consistent meals for themselves and their family.  

In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 1.5 million people who are food insecure, a rate of 12 percent of our population. Approximately 437,000 Pennsylvania children are also experiencing food insecurity. The USDA defines food insecurity as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members, and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. 

Forty percent of Pennsylvanians identified as food insecure are above 185 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) making them ineligible for most food programs. According to UWP's recently released ALICE Report, which looks at Pennsylvania households earning above the FPL but not enough to meet a bare-minimum household budget, food accounts for 12 percent of a household budget for a single adult or family of four. Further, the cost of food increased by 18 percent from 2007 to 2017, consistent with the rate of inflation. 

With the rising costs of food and other household necessities, it is difficult for many of our friends and neighbors to provide enough food for their families. In Pennsylvania, we are also seeing more public attention on school district policies for students with unpaid lunch bills. Food insecurity is an issue that brings with it a great deal of stigma that is hard to overcome for many individuals. People who use resources to combat food insecurity should not be afraid that they are being judged unfairly.  

Another threat to families who are eligible for publicly-funded food programs is the pending rule changes for the SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  The US Department of Agriculture's proposed rule changes to SNAP's Broad-based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) that would limit access to benefits for households with savings and other assets. Current rules allows states to adopt less restrictive asset tests so that families, seniors and people with disabilities can have modest savings or own their own home without losing SNAP benefits. The  USDA estimates over 3 million Americans would lose SNAP benefits and over 500,000 children will lose eligibility for free school lunch programs with this rule change.
United Ways across the Commonwealth fight to ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to healthy, nutritious, and affordable food options. Through partnerships with food banks, PA 211, and other community organizations, United Ways are working toward community solutions to help anyone struggling with food insecurity.   Protecting and promoting a robust SNAP program has also been a priority issue for United Ways across the country and UWP will be speaking out against the proposed USDA rule change. You can join the effort and submit your comments here

If you are interested in advocating further for the many Pennsylvanians who are food insecure, you can take action on Feeding America's website here
PA United Ways in the News 

United Way expands Real Men Read program

Tax program aids working families

UWP 2019 Board Meetings 
September 19, Harrisburg 
December 19, Harrisburg  

See what other events UWP has going on here

Check Out What Your Local United Way has Going On
United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP) is a state association representing our 48 member United Ways and United Funds across the Commonwealth. 

UWP's mission is to assist and champion the efforts of local United Ways in advancing the common good

Primarily UWP's work consists of government relations work on the policy issues affecting PA's communities in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.  In addition, UWP works with our local United Way members to support their efforts and offer support to their mission.  

Visit United Way of Pennsylvania's website
to learn more about how local United Ways are working to advance the common good

For any inquiries please contact us

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