Pennsylvania agriculture officials reassure people about safety, supplies of food during crisis

Hadas Kuznits
April 02, 2020 - 5:38 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is doing its part to ensure that food remains safe and accessible during the coronavirus crisis. 

Secretary Russell Redding concedes the state's grocery stores, food banks and pantries have a heavy responsibility right now.

"And that is to provide continuous access to safe food supply during the most challenging crisis that most of us have ever experienced,” Redding said. 

Their goal is to make sure everyone has access to food, even if their paycheck has stopped.

"We are coordinating with the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and all of the food processors in the state of Pennsylvania. We've been on national calls with other food interests across the country, just making sure that we've got an adequate supply chain," he said. 

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Amid the pandemic, he expects there to be a greater need in regard to the state's food voucher programs.

"The federal administration made some decisions relative to SNAP that restricted usage. The governor has requested reconsideration of that with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and that's underway as we speak,” Redding said. 

And he's also asking consumers to do their part.

"Such as limiting the number of times that we go outside. Plan ahead, please. Get groceries once a week or every two weeks but don't buy huge amounts of food,” he added.