Pennsylvania Hunger Caucus

 

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Capitol Hunger Garden

In late April, the Legislative Hunger Caucus of which I chair along with Representative Jake Wheatley broke ground for the fourth growing season of the Capitol Hunger Garden, a 1,000-square-foot strip of land adjacent to the State Capitol Building that helps raise awareness of hunger issues while supplying local food banks and soup kitchens with fresh produce.  Since its creation in 2010, the garden has been staffed by volunteers and supported entirely by donations from businesses, organizations and individuals.   

Thanks to those who continue to support this worthy endeavor and have volunteered thus far for the 2013 planting and harvesting.  We look forward to another successful growing season!

Sincerely,


Pennsylvania is a world leader in food production and processing, however, far too many state residents struggle daily with hunger and food insecurity.  One in eight households are food insecure and one in five households with children struggle with food hardship.  The Legislative Hunger Caucus was formed in 2008 with the objective to bring together government at the state, federal and local levels and work together with community partners to effectively address hunger and the underlying causes contributing to it.  More than 80 members of the General Assembly currently belong to the Legislative Hunger Caucus (members).

Since 2008, the Legislative Hunger Caucus has participated in outreach initiatives that have raised awareness for hunger.  One of the more visible projects of the Caucus is the Capitol Hunger Garden.  Located on the State Capitol grounds between the Main Capitol Building and the Ryan Office Building, the Capitol Hunger Garden first broke ground in 2010 with one, simple goal:  to create a garden that would provide healthy food to help those in need and to serve as a valuable tool to raise awareness of hunger issues in Pennsylvania.  Four years later, hundreds of volunteers have come to the garden to harvest thousands of pounds of produce to feed many Pennsylvanians in need.

The Capitol Hunger Garden continues to succeed largely due to the number of individuals, business and organizations which provide supplies, financial resources and volunteer hours so that no taxpayer dollars are used. In addition to volunteers, the Master Gardeners of Penn State Extension come to the garden to work side by side with the volunteers to help harvest the produce and provide a teaching tool to those of every age.  If you would like to help volunteer at the Capitol Hunger Garden please visit here.

In addition to providing fresh produce to local food banks, some of the vegetables from the Capitol Hunger Garden are used to create thousands of jars of Capitol Hunger Garden Salsa.  To date, thousands of jars of salsa have been produced, thanks to donations made by businesses and organizations.  While there is no charge for the salsa, it is recommended that a donation be made to a location food bank or organization.  If you would like a jar of Capitol Hunger Garden Salsa, please contact Senator Brubakerís Harrisburg Office at 717-787-4421, while supplies last.

It has never been more important for every Pennsylvanian to do their part to help fight hunger.   We need to ensure that every household has access to the healthy, nutritious food they need.  It is the hope of the Legislative Hunger Caucus to do what is necessary to decrease the high human and economic toll of hunger in the Commonwealth.

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April 30, 2013 - Capitol Hunger Garden Marks Fourth Growing Season
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The Hunger Caucus deeply appreciates the generosity of all contributors, and their kindness and selflessness are an important part of our efforts to promote food security in Pennsylvania.

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