Capitol Hunger Garden Opens for 6th Season


(HARRISBURG) – Today Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25), Representative Jake Wheatley (D-19) and numerous hunger awareness advocates joined together for a public event to mark the 6th season opening of the Capitol Hunger Garden.

Senator Scarnati and Representative Wheatley serve as co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Legislative Hunger Caucus, whose members work together and participate in outreach initiatives that have raised awareness for hunger. The Capitol Hunger Garden is an approximately 1,000 square-foot area of land adjacent to the State Capitol Building which is overseen by the Hunger Caucus.

“Today marks the start of the sixth season that the Capitol Hunger Garden will work towards the mission of providing healthy food to help those in need and to serve as a valuable tool to raise awareness of hunger issues in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Scarnati. “This year I look forward to working with Representative Wheatley, members of the Caucus and the many dedicated volunteers who help make the garden a success.”

Since its inception, the garden has annually produced between 700 to 800 pounds of vegetables for low-income residents and approximately 3,700 pounds for the five-year period.  The vegetables are donated to food banks, pantries and local soup kitchens, such as the Downtown Daily Bread located in Harrisburg.  The produce donations prepared 42,000 meals at the soup kitchen since 2010.

“For five years, this garden has provided thousands of pounds of food for area food banks, but the garden doesn’t just produce food, it serves as a visible symbol of our bipartisan determination to end hunger,” said Representative Wheatley. “I look forward to working with Chairman Scarnati to combat hunger in Pennsylvania.”

At the opening the Chairmen were joined by several members of the Legislative Hunger Caucus. Also taking part in the event were individuals from the Department of General Services, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Feeding America, Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, Downtown Daily Bread, Pennsylvania Legislative Services, Wilson500, Inc., Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, master gardeners from the Penn State Cooperative Extension and volunteers.

Immediately following the opening event, master gardeners and volunteers planted the garden for the season. For additional information regarding the Capitol Hunger Garden, please visit: www.senatorscarnati.com/palegislativehungercaucus.

CONTACT:  Kate Eckhart (Senator Scarnati’s Office) keckhart@pasen.gov 717-787-7084

Nate Collins (Representative Wheatley’s Office) ncollins@pahouse.net 717-787-7895