Research shows that 20% of Pennsylvania children suffer from food insecurity, driving poor birth outcomes, poor health and mental health outcomes, and childhood obesity. PCCY works to end childhood hunger by promoting and strengthening programs that provide nutritional support to children including school breakfast, SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and summer feeding programs.
Children who eat breakfast at school perform better on standardized tests, are better behaved and have better attendance than students who skip breakfast or eat at home. Yet, school breakfast remains underutilized in our region. PCCY works to increase participation in Philadelphia and statewide as a key partner in the Pennsylvania School Breakfast Challenge.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is our nation’s #1 defense against hunger. SNAP is a powerful anti-hunger tool that helps put food on the tables of America’s most vulnerable citizens, and improves health outcomes for children. A major funding cut to federal nutrition assistance took effect in October 2013, impacting 1.8 million Pennsylvanians, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington, D.C. The cut amounts to 21 lost meals per month for a family of four. Download the PDF below to see the impact on Pennsylvania the cuts to SNAP had on our counties.
During the school year, suburban families can turn to school meals to help feed their school-age children. But for many children, summer vacation brings an end to the healthy school meals. Too often their families lack the resources to make up the deficit. USDA’s summer meals program can help fill the gap when school is out, but it remains underdeveloped in the suburbs. PCCY is partnering with others to try to remedy this.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a well-documented success. This key federal nutrition program provides support for children in child care homes, Head Start, after-school programs, and child care centers. The program provides reimbursement for food and meal preparation costs, ongoing training in the nutritional needs of children, and onsite technical assistance in meeting the program’s strong nutritional requirements. For more information see:
PCCY found that nearly 30,000 more children in the Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties depend on SNAP (Food Stamps) than in 2008. Also, less than a third of eligible students participate in school breakfast programs. Click on the links below for a brief summary across all four counties and the full reports.
- Bucks County – The share of students eligible for free- and reduced-price meals at school increased by 42% from 2008-2012.
- Chester County –The number of Chester County children enrolled in SNAP increased by nearly 56% from 2009.
- Delaware County – School breakfast participation in Delaware County public schools dropped by 10% from 2008 to 2012. Less than one in three eligible students receive breakfast at school.
- Montgomery County – Children receiving SNAP increased by 53% from 2009.