- Makes it harder for children to learn in school,
- Slows down their physical development,
- Worsens poor health issues for our senior citizens,
- Saps the strength of the working poor; and
- Costs Pennsylvania nearly $3.25 billion per year and perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
While Pennsylvania’s experience is better than most states, hunger and food insecurity take a high human and economic toll in Pennsylvania. The Inter-Agency Council on Food and Nutrition (Council) was created to address hunger and related conditions of poverty. The Council is composed of representatives from six executive agencies (Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health and Public Welfare) and hunger and nutrition advocates and food providers for the hungry.
In January 2007 the Council convened a "Hunger Summit" to hear testimony and conduct focused discussions on the roles of Pennsylvanians and government in addressing hunger and food insecurity. Based on the information gathered at the Hunger Summit and additional work by the Council, it developed the Blueprint for a Hunger-Free Pennsylvania. The goal of the blueprint and the Council is to eliminate chronic food insecurity by 2020.
- Chronic food insecurity occurs when an individual is at regular risk of hunger for either short or long durations.
- The Council and the Blueprint recognize that state government alone cannot address hunger or eliminate chronic food insecurity by 2020.
Government at the state, federal and local levels working together with community partners can more effectively address hunger and the underlying causes contributing to it.