The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 15, 2013

Hunger-Free honors efforts of Haluska, dad

Ruth Rice

— Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, a network of food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, honored state Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton, for his years of service and ongoing efforts.

He also was honored on Tuesday at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg for the work of his late father, Rep. Edward Haluska, who was among the original co-sponsors of Act 129, which created the State Food Purchase Program.

“Rep. Haluska has proven himself to be a champion in the fight against hunger,” said Sheila Christopher, executive director of Hunger-Free Pennsylvania.

“He is continuing the family tradition

of fighting hunger in Pennsylvania, and

his continuing support for the pro-

gram since its inception has helped

millions of hungry Pennsylvanians gain access to healthy meals.”

Christopher presented Haluska with a commemorative engraved plate recognizing his decades-long fight against hunger.

The Hunger-Free Pennsylvania network has 21 members serving all 67 counties.

The only four co-sponsors of the original food-purchase legislation to remain active members of the General Assembly also were honored.

They are House Speaker Sam Smith,

R-Jefferson; Sen. Dave Argall, R-Car­bon; Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks; and Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

The event also served to commemorate important milestones for the state food program, which makes it possible for food banks to acquire and distribute millions of pounds of nutritious food to feed hungry children, seniors, people with disabilities, the working poor and underemployed and unemployed Pennsylvanians.

More than 1.36 million Pennsylvania residents now qualify for the food purchase program, which is funded through the state Department of Agriculture.