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First Lady Wolf Visits York County Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry, Highlighting Need for Food Access in Rural Communities

First Lady Frances Wolf reiterated her dedication, and the dedication of the Wolf Administration, to food security during the unveiling of York County Food Bank’s mobile food pantry in York. Those in attendance included sponsors, board members and other community leaders.

“When my husband, Tom, took office, he established the Governor’s Food Security Partnership to alleviate hunger and related conditions of poverty,” First Lady Wolf said. “Food advocates in York have taken the Partnership’s suggestions and are turning them into solutions for communities in need of nutritious food. The mobile food pantry is a testament to their activism and what we can accomplish when we come together to tackle our issues.”

In 2015, Governor Wolf signed an executive order establishing the Governor’s Food Security Partnership to coordinate Pennsylvania’s food and nutrition programs. By leveraging community and business partners; federal, state, and local resources; and, the charitable food network, the Partnership works to ensure Pennsylvanians have access to nutritious food. Their report, Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA, outlined strategies to reduce food insecurity in Pennsylvania communities.

Organizations and businesses in York followed this guidance to create a plan that would alleviate hunger in their local communities. The York County Food Bank’s mobile pantry initiative comes as the number of Pennsylvanians experiencing food insecurity in rural counties the Central PA Food Bank serves, including those in York, has risen 25-30 percent from 2019 to 2021. Having a mobile unit will ensure residents in these areas have access to nutritious food, despite the barriers, like transportation and a lack of reliable food resources, that typically keep them from getting the food they need.

“The York County Food Bank is very thankful and honored to have First Lady Wolf visit the York County Food Bank,” said Jen Brillhart, President and CEO of York County Food Bank. “We look forward to sharing how our new mobile food pantry program will bring good, healthy food to underserved areas in our community.”

Following the unveiling, First Lady Wolf toured the mobile pantry, getting a close-up look at how it will operate.

“This is truly remarkable,” she said. “Mobile pantries are perfect examples of how we can meet Pennsylvanians where they are. Too many communities have challenges in accessing good food, but when we fully address them with solutions like this, we make a real difference.”

Feeding America reported that as a result of the pandemic, the number of Pennsylvanians who faced food insecurity grew to 13.8 percent, an increase of 30 percent from 2019, while the number of children who faced food insecurity rose to 20.4 percent, an increase of nearly 40 percent from 2019. They predict that with recent policies enacted by the federal and state government, along with the help of the private sector, overall food insecurity in Pennsylvania will fall to 12 percent of all residents, and 16.8 percent of all children.

To find more about how the Wolf Administration is championing food security, visit the Department of Agriculture website. Visit the Department of Human Services website to access the full report Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-Free PA.

Photos from today’s event will be available on PAcast.