Pennsylvania Pressroom

Wolf administration celebrates anti-hunger month by expanding eligibility for SNAP benefits, securing food assistance for more Pennsylvanians

Lancaster, Pennsylvania Andrew Barnes, deputy executive secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, joined forces with the PA Department of Agriculture, PA Feed, the Lancaster County Community Action Partnership, and others at Lancaster Central Market today to recognize Hunger Month and announce updates to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). ), formerly known as Food Stamps, which would expand eligibility for Pennsylvanians who need food assistance.

Starting October 1, Pennsylvania will increase the income threshold for all applicants to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG). With this change, more than 420,000 Pennsylvanians in more than 174,000 families will be newly eligible for SNAP and will receive, on average, $63 a month.

“The ability to eat and nourish yourself every day is one of the most important building blocks for living well and doing everything else in life. It’s easy to take for granted, but for many people, being able to afford your next meal isn’t something they take for granted. SNAP helps make this happen, Barnes said. “Expanding SNAP eligibility allows us to extend the deferment period for people who may be suffering so that we can help more Pennsylvanians meet this most important need that actually drives us to live, work, grow, and thrive.”

“No one should go to bed hungry, and these SNAP updates will help the fight to end hunger. More families will get the fresh, nutritious foods they need,” said Karen Long-Earl, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Food Assistance Office. SNAP Program, Food-Insecure Pennsylvanians Can Access Programs Including Farmers Market Feeding ProgramAnd the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System ProgramAnd the Senior Lunch Box Program, and more. If you’re hungry, there are programs to help.”

said Jane Clements, CEO of Penn State Nutrition. “We are grateful to the Wolf administration for recognizing the need to expand access to SNAP to families who were outside the eligibility threshold, but who remain in dire need of support to make ends meet.”

“We know that thriving families create thriving communities, but families cannot thrive if they do not have enough food resources available to them,” said Vanessa Filbert, Lancaster County Community Action Partnership chief executive. “Expanding access to nutritious foods increases the health of the entire community and promotes prosperity for all.”

Beginning October 1, 2022, DHS will expand the Broad Category Eligibility (BBCE) for the SNAP Program. While SNAP is a federal program and SNAP benefits are funded through the federal budget, states manage eligibility and issuance of benefits. BBCE is a policy that gives states, including Pennsylvania, the flexibility to set appropriate income thresholds and extend SNAP benefits to low-income families and individuals who may struggle to afford food. DHS is currently using BBCE’s flexibility to set income thresholds to 160 percent of the FPIG for households without elderly or disabled members.

With this change, the monthly household income limits for all families eligible for SNAP are as follows:

September is National Anti-Hunger Month. According to Feeding Pennsylvania, more than 2 million Pennsylvanians experience chronic hunger and food insecurity every day, including one in seven children. Programs like SNAP and the Commonwealth Charitable Food Networks help working adults, people with disabilities, seniors and children get food and expand their purchasing power so they don’t have to choose between paying for a doctor’s appointment or being able to eat dinner. Inadequate food and chronic nutrient deficiencies have profound effects on a person’s life and health, including increased risk of chronic disease, increased chances of hospitalization, deteriorating overall health, and increased health care costs.

SNAP helps more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians by saving money each month to spend on groceries, which helps families have the resources to buy enough food to avoid starvation. SNAP is the most important and most influential program to fight hunger in our country. For every meal served by the Feeding Pennsylvania Food Bank, SNAP provides nine.

SNAP applications and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at SNAP and Medicaid applications are accepted over the phone by calling the Consumer Service Center at 1-866-550-4355. on site County Help Desk CAO services are available if customers cannot access the online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website or myCOMPASS PA mobile application or by calling our Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 For Philadelphia customers or 1-877 8930-395 for customers in all other states.

For additional information on food assistance resources for people across Pennsylvania affected by COVID-19 and economic insecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture Food Security Manual.

Media contact: Brandon Kolina –

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