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State Food Purchase Program

Pennsylvania leads all states in providing food assistance for the needy under the SFPP. The program provides cash grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of food to low income individuals. It is intended to supplement the efforts of food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, feeding programs, shelters for the homeless and similar organizations to reduce hunger.

Pennsylvania is one of a small number of states in the nation to provide state revenues for an emergency assistance food program for its low-income citizens. This is the largest program of its kind and it reflects the commonwealth's determination to address problems related to nutrition and hunger. Grants are allocated to the County Commissioners for the purchase of food at wholesale, competitively bid prices, or better.

Who Should Participate?

Churches, community groups, civic groups, and other non-profit organizations can distribute these foods. To begin providing these services, please contact the Lead Agency listed to find out how to begin receiving this food.

Residents of households receiving any of the following may be eligible for this service: unemployment compensation, food stamps, cash assistance, medical assistance or those whose household income is at or below 185 percent of the U.S. poverty level. Those experiencing a crisis situation, such as fire are also eligible. Applicants complete a Self-Declaration of Need form. Further information is available at 1-800-468-2433.


No food purchased through the program may be sold or offered for sale, or in exchange for property or services. The Lead Agency is responsible for services where there are gaps in the delivery of services. Priority is placed for purchase of readily consumable PA food products. See the food standards list for the food items allowable for purchase with SFPP funds. Transportation, storage and related administration costs up to a maximum of eight percent of the total county allocation are also allowable program costs.

Questions on this program should be directed to the program contact or by calling 800-468-2433, or emailing at