Category Archives: Food & nutrition

Get Moving With All of AARP’s Roadmaps | a six-part series features workbooks about housing, transportation, health services, community engagement and more.

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Pennsylvania Announces Plans to Maintain Food Security Programs Through February Despite Federal Government Shutdown

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Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced that February benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will be dispersed on January 18, 2019, and will be available for use by January 19, 2019. The early payment follows an announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notifying states that benefits will be fully funded for the month of February, but benefits must be paid early.

“SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. Without it, 1.8 million Pennsylvanians would have greater trouble affording food for themselves and their families,” said Secretary Miller. “This early payment allows us to get SNAP recipients their benefits for February, but they will have to make this payment last for an undefined period as the shutdown continues.”

On January 8, 2019, DHS received notice from the USDA that February SNAP benefits will be fully funded, but that these benefits needed to be issued by January 20. DHS worked closely with its vendors and will be able to issue the February benefits to electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on January 18. This early payment is SNAP recipients’ February benefit and will be the only benefit payment SNAP recipients will receive for the month of February. Recipients will not receive a payment on their regularly scheduled February payment date. DHS is sending a letter and/or email to SNAP recipients to notify them of this change.

Payments beyond February will be determined based on the availability of USDA funds. DHS is awaiting information from the USDA on plans for March benefits should the partial federal government shutdown continue.

“The partial federal government shutdown has real implications for millions of people in Pennsylvania and around the country who use SNAP to keep food on the table,” said Secretary Miller. “Changes in the way people get their benefits and uncertainty regarding future benefits creates confusion and concern that should be avoidable. The federal government must come to a solution so people who already face food insecurity do not continue to be caught in the middle of a situation that they did not create.”

DHS will continue to process applications for all benefits during the shutdown. Recipients should continue to report changes and submit any semi-annual reviews or renewals they receive during this period to not risk an interruption of their benefits in the future.

Clients with questions about their benefits can contact their local County Assistance Office or can call the statewide customer service center at 1-877-395-8930. Clients who reside in Philadelphia should call 1-215-560-7226.

SOURCE: news release

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Today is election day – be sure to vote!

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How Farmers Markets Help End Hunger in PA

farmers markets

Farmers markets are bringing more fresh, local produce to the doorsteps of low-income neighborhoods by giving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients the power to purchase nutritious food with their EBT cards.

In 2017, 7,377 farmers and farmers markets accepted SNAP benefits across the United States, providing low-income consumers with access to fresh, healthy foods, while helping local farmers. Find a participating farmers market near you.

From June through November, the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs provide low-income seniors and eligible participants in the WIC program with vouchers to purchase Pennsylvania-grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut herbs from approved farm markets and farm stands across the commonwealth.

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SOURCE: news release

Confused about when to call 2-1-1 and 9-1-1?

Berks County Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt recently “unveiled a magnet that will be made available to county residents in an effort to make them aware of when it’s appropriate to call 911 and when they should dial 211.”

2-1-1Click on the graphic above to watch a five minute video that will explain what 2-1-1 is and how it differs from 9-1-1.

Read these articles, too, for more information.

“7 Facts about Older Adults and SNAP” – National Council on Aging

snapby Erin Kee McGovern

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest domestic hunger safety net program. SNAP is especially important in helping low-income older adults to achieve food security. But many myths abound–here we set the record straight with seven facts about seniors and SNAP.

1. Older adults’ participation in SNAP is staggeringly low.

Click here to read all the 7 Facts and more.

“For those who receive — and deliver — Meals on Wheels, more than nutrition is on the menu” – The Boston Globe

meals on wheelsJessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff – Vito LaMura makes a Meals on Wheels delivery to Sally Neale in Lexington.

LEXINGTON — It’s a Tuesday ritual that Vito LaMura holds dear.

“On that day, the 71-year-old retired teacher drives from his Bedford home to Lexington Community Center, where he picks up more than a dozen Meals on Wheels packages. LaMura carefully lays out the bagged containers in his Mazda hatchback. Then he’s off on an 8-mile route — delivering food to housebound seniors who get by on Social Security, daily routines, and memories.

“The modest meals are crucial for those who receive them. So is the emotional nourishment. The state and federally funded Meals on Wheels program provides a daily visit for about 75,000 people over age 60 in Massachusetts. Many are hungry, isolated, and living in or near poverty. It’s a human connection to an outside world that can recede from view in later years. Many Meals on Wheels volunteers are retirees like LaMura. Some aren’t that much younger than the folks they visit. But most of them are focused on navigating their routes rather than peering into what could be their future. As he makes his rounds, it’s clear the program benefits LaMura as much as it does the recipients, whom he calls ‘my people.’ Their conversations come easily.”

Click here to continue reading this Boston Globe article.

BERKS COUNTY MEALS ON WHEELS INFORMATION

LANCASTER COUNTY MEALS ON WHEELS INFORMATION

LEBANON COUNTY MEALS ON WHEELS INFORMATION

 

 

“Older Americans Are ‘Hooked’ on Vitamins” – The New York Times

vitaminsTony Cenicola/The New York Times

by

“When she was a young physician, Dr. Martha Gulati noticed that many of her mentors were prescribing vitamin E and folic acid to patients. Preliminary studies in the early 1990s had linked both supplements to a lower risk of heart disease.

“She urged her father to pop the pills as well: ‘Dad, you should be on these vitamins, because every cardiologist is taking them or putting their patients on [them],’ recalled Dr. Gulati, now chief of cardiology for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

“But just a few years later, she found herself reversing course, after rigorous clinical trials found neither vitamin E nor folic acid supplements did anything to protect the heart.”

Read this article at The New York Times, click here.

Friday Wrap-Up, March 9, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here download the newsletter as a .pdf file.

New Brief and Interactive Map Examine Poverty Among Seniors in the U.S. – Kaiser Family Foundation

A new Kaiser Family Foundation brief and interactive map provide the latest national and state-level estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau of the share of people ages 65 and older who are living in poverty. In 2016, 9.3 percent of seniors, or 4.6 million people, lived in poverty, based on the official poverty threshold of $11,511 in income for an individual age 65 or older. That year 30.4 percent, or 15 million seniors, had income under twice the poverty threshold. Under an alternative measure of poverty, known as the Supplemental Poverty Measure, the analysis shows a larger share and number of seniors living below poverty thresholds. That measure, developed in response to concerns that the official measure does not accurately reflect people’s financial resources or liabilities, takes into account out-of-pocket health care costs, regional variation in housing costs and other factors.

Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, 14.5 percent of people ages 65 and older, or 7.1 million, were living in poverty in 2016—2.5 million more seniors in poverty than under the official measure. And under this measure, 42.4 percent, or 20.9 million people, had incomes below twice the poverty level—5.9 million more seniors than under the official poverty measure.

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SOURCE: Kaiser Family Foundation