PA Food Surplus Program Collects 20 Million Pounds of Food for the Needy

By Sam Miller
The Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System, or PASS, has reached a milestone, having collected a surplus of 20 million pounds of food to go to hungry families. The program was first created by Governor Wolf five years ago to redirect agricultural products from waste into the charitable food system. It has not only helped feed the hungry in the Commonwealth, but also prevents the product of PA farmers from not being used. According to Feeding America's annual Map the Meal Gap report, in 2019, 10.6% of all residents in Pennsylvania didn't always know where their next meal was coming from. That number included nearly 14.6% of all Pennsylvania children. In 2020, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Feeding America reports that the number of Pennsylvanians who faced food insecurity grew to 13.8 percent, an increase of 30 percent and the number of children who faced food insecurity rose to 20.4 percent, an increase of nearly 40 percent in just one year. However, thanks to increased efforts to feed the hungry because of the pandemic, that number is projected to drop in 2021.