The Wolf administration is rolling out a multi-step plan to combat hunger in Pennsylvania.
The move stems from a 2015 executive order that created the Governor’s Food Security Partnership.
Since then, several state agencies have been collaborating on the plan, which lays out several goals to be met by 2020.
Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said it’s key to make sure people who are eligible for aid programs are taking advantage of them.
For instance, he said, over the next four years the state will try to raise participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.
“That’s going to require us to think a little differently,” Dallas said. “We’re going to have to reach out to folks who have been resistant to outreach before, folks who might have English language barriers, folks who might not — I know you’re going to be shocked when I say this — they might not trust a government bureaucrat telling them this is good for them.”
About 90 percent of people eligible for SNAP actually receive the benefits. The state wants to boost that rate to 98 percent.
Dallas said the money from the program is coming from reallocation of already-existing funds.
The Departments of Agriculture, Health, Aging, and Education joined the department of Human Services to collaborate on the plan.