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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 13, 2023 04:58 PM
From: Senator John I. Kane
To: All Senate members
Subject: Food Bucks Program for SNAP recipients
Food insecurity is a heightened concern for Pennsylvanians due to the pandemic and recent rising food costs. Pennsylvania’s SNAP program serves households that have significant food insecurity struggles. The prevalence of food insecurity and poor diet is a leading factor of death and health issues across Pennsylvania. According to the USDA, SNAP participation significantly reduces, by up to 30%, the prevalence of food insecurity. SNAP helps 14% of the commonwealth’s residents put food on the table. Now, more than ever, the reliance on SNAP is increasing and remains as a vital program in providing adequate health and nutrition for our families and children.

To address the increased needs of food insecurity for Pennsylvanians, I plan to introduce a bill that will improve the SNAP program. The program will:
  1. Find an organization that will administer the program under certain specifications and will give preference to retailers and markets who sell PA-grown agricultural products, supporting local farmers and small businesses.
  2. Increase the funds available for Food Bucks program beyond private funding and the federal USDA grant (Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program).
  3. Provide no less than forty cents to a SNAP recipient for every one dollar of SNAP benefits redeemed on targeted food items including fruits and vegetables and other healthy options.
  4. Expand nutrition incentives to the entire state, increasing the number of fruits and vegetables consumed by SNAP recipients and people facing food insecurity.

Please join me in helping prevent food insecurity for our families and support this bill. This is a reintroduction of SB1246 of the Session of 2021-2022, and it was cosponsored by Senators Fontana, Kearney, Collett, Comitta, Cappelletti, Costa and Santarseiro. 

Introduced as SB552