Re-published from the PA Department of Human Services
The holidays are a time when families use food as a source of comfort, community, and celebration. But given this difficult year, many Pennsylvanians may be having trouble meeting their essential needs.
No one should go without food during the holidays. Pennsylvania’s food assistance programs and the charitable food network were built for difficult times like these, and no one should be shy to get help if they need a little assistance. Programs like the Farmers Market Nutrition Program can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables while supporting neighborhood farmers who have worked harder than ever to provide for Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvanians looking for a turkey, side dishes, or ingredients to make their family favorites and safely 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 such as 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.
For more about the Wolf Administration’s efforts related to food insecurity in Pennsylvania throughout the pandemic, visit agriculture.pa.gov/foodsecurity.