Hunger in Pennsylvania Focus of House Republican Policy Committee Hearing in Williamsport, Hosted by Wheeland
Members of the House Republican Policy Committee listen to testimony on the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank during an informational meeting in Williamsport. Shown here are Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union), Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and Jeff C. Wheeland (R-Lycoming,), who served as host for the meeting.
WILLIAMSPORT – Working to eradicate hunger in Pennsylvania was the focus of an informational hearing at the facilities of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (CPFB) in Williamsport, hosted by Rep. Jeff C. Wheeland (R-Lycoming) and led by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee.

“It’s amazing that these dedicated people can do so much to help feed our hungry residents in Central Pennsylvania with the capacity they have,” said Wheeland. “In the Williamsport, Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg areas, there are many who would not be able to eat if it weren’t for the CPFB organization, volunteers, donors and employees. I salute them all.”

Benninghoff says the committee heard from CPFB management, farmers, the Penn State Extension, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and New Hope Ministries.

"It was an honor to listen and learn of the good works of the Central PA Food Bank and the incredible network of private partners,” said Benninghoff. “They are a model of efficiency and effectiveness, delivering not only food to our communities but also a guiding hand on a path out of poverty."

Following the meeting, the committee members received a tour of the facility to see firsthand how the distribution and storage systems work.

Erin Smith Wachter, director of advocacy and public policy for CPFB, told the panel that the efforts of the Pennsylvania Agriculture Surplus System (PASS), has been critical to its mission.

“The Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System, or PASS program, is critical to this connection between meeting the needs of low-income Pennsylvanians and supporting Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Wachter. “By way of background, PASS is a statewide program that was enacted into law in 2010, and was funded for the first time ever – at $1 million – through the 2015-16 state budget, and again at $1 million through the 2016-17 state budget. The program is funded through the State Food Purchase Program line item within the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture budget.”

To underscore the size of the issue, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank distributes more than 48 million pounds of food and grocery products each year to more than 900 soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries in 27 Pennsylvania counties.

Wheeland said The CPFB Williamsport Food Bank location serves Bradford, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties.

The Harrisburg facility at 3908 Corey Road in Harrisburg serves Adams, Bedford, Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and York counties.

For more information about the organization, visit

Representative Jeff C. Wheeland
83rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Raymond Smith
717.705.1834 /

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