Central PA Community Action (CPCA) is pleased to announce being selected as the recipient of the Robert T. Ott Seed Money Grant through the Centre County Council for Human Services for $10,000. Meeting the nutritional needs of the families served has always been a concern of CPCA. With continuing cuts to the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) the amount of food that participants of the food pantries receive continues to decrease. Along with the budget decreases, a concern is the nutritional value of the food distributed. Many times these food pantries rely on donations to meet the demand of those seeking assistance. To supplement the food that they receive from the pantries, CPCA has developed the Fresh Food Voucher Program to be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets.
The program is aimed to serve Centre County individuals and families currently not eligible to receive The Pennsylvania Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), which distributes checks to eligible seniors and persons receiving Women, Infants & Children (WIC) benefits. The CPCA Fresh Food Voucher Program will address the needs of individuals and families with four (4) $5.00 vouchers per household member. These will be distributed from our three Centre County offices and can be used at the farmer markers in Bellefonte, Millheim and Philipsburg. These vouchers can then be redeemed for reimbursement from CPCA by the farmers.
Currently there are not any funds available to be used toward the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. Funding that CPCA receives for the food pantries is used to purchase non-perishable foods and very limited meat and dairy products. With the additional of the Fresh Food Vouchers, these individuals and families will supplement the food they receive from the food pantries with healthier and more nutritious fruits and vegetables. The Fresh Food Voucher Program will assist approximately 500 individuals and distribution of the vouchers will begin in May 2012.
Last year, CPCA served over 19,000 unduplicated individuals through our vast array of services. CPCA’s primary services includes housing services, weatherization, rental housing, case management, food services, heating and utility assistance, employment assistance and training, consumer information and referral, and transportation services. CPCA’s mission is “strengthening our communities by helping families and individuals in Centre and Clearfield counties to become self-sufficient”. For more information on the Fresh Food Voucher Program or any of CPCA’s programs please call CPCA at 765-1551 or 800-822-2610.