DUQUESNE (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Second Lady of Pennsylvania Gisele Fetterman and Department of Human Services Executive Deputy Secretary Clarke Madden visited the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank on Monday during Hunger Action Month.
Their visit was to encourage residents to continue to support the food bank, as well as to remind Pennsylvanians to be counted in the 2020 United States Census.
“No Pennsylvanian should ever know how it feels to go to bed hungry,” said Second Lady Gisele Fetterman. “The Census and food security go hand in hand, because if we don’t know you’re here, we aren’t allocated the money to provide food services for you if you’re ever in a position to need them.”
As of September 14th, 348,000 residents of Allegheny County still had not responded to the 2020 Census, which can be done online, by phone, or by mail.
Across the state, 68.5% of residents have responded to the Census, 2.6% higher than the national average.
“Data collected through the 2020 Census will affect all of us for the next decade. As we continue to navigate and recover from this pandemic and economic insecurity, Pennsylvania will need as many resources as possible to help meet the needs and recover from the significant challenges we’ve faced this year. A complete and accurate count will help make that possible,” said Executive Deputy Secretary Madden. “I want to thank our partners in the charitable food network who are helping people meet essential needs and stay healthy right now. Overcoming and healing from the difficult circumstances we all face will take support and strong partnerships, and I encourage everyone to reach out if they need help, support their local food banks if they are able, and compete their Census so Pennsylvania is counted, heard, and well equipped as we recover.”
The state wants to make sure everyone responds to the Census as it determines how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion annually through its 16 largest federally funded programs.
“Today shows the importance of working together, not only to provide food assistance for those in need, but also to complete the Census so that everyone is counted,” said Lisa Scales, President & CEO of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “We have seen a dramatic increase in need since the start of the pandemic and are serving many people who are receiving food assistance for the first time. We expect that to continue well into next year. As long as there is a need, our Food Bank will be here to support our neighbors.”