Governor tom wolf held a round table meeting in Harrisburg to update the blue print for a hunger free Pennsylvania. Agencies like the departments of human services and agriculture attended. We spoke with Jessica Dokachev, the Director of Second Harvest Food Bank, she says "We have seen huge progress made against this blue prints goals in the past couple of years."
One goal of the blueprint for a hunger free Pennsylvania is to fight federal cuts of the eligibility to low income seniors, applying for the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or snap. Anne Horrigan of the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging had this to say "As far as the elderly population using snap, many of them aren't aware that they're eligible."
Individuals making less than 1,317 dollars a month are eligible for snap benefits. That amount goes up 468 dollars for each additional member of the household. "We may see 90% of the under 60 or 65 population reaching out for those benefits when their families need them. But the percentage among seniors is much much lower, whether they don't know how to access the benefits, or just that sense of independence that I've always provided for my own." says Dokachev.
You might not be eligible because of your income, but officials tell us, here in north eastern Pennsylvania, we have one of the highest housing costs to income ratio in the country. Dokachev says there's a reason some may need the benefits but aren't eligibleso there are a lot of people who's income based on the federal guidelines is to high to qualify, but it doesn't take into account things like house hold bills, how much it costs just to get to work every day, or how much it costs to put a roof over their families head...