Some 160,000 enlisted families – primarily from the lower enlisted ranks – have trouble putting food on the table, according to Feeding America, hunger-relief organization. An estimated 29 percent of families of service members in pay grades E-1 through E-4 have faced food insecurity during the past year, Feeding America stated. Half of them were active duty.
The organization cited a number of factors – to include low pay, financial obligations such as student loans and child-care costs. Difficulties spouses experience when trying to find jobs at new duty stations, high costs of living in some areas, and the “transitory nature” of military service all contribute to the problem, Feeding America said in an online statement.
The group also noted that one third of all students at DoD schools qualified for free or reduced-price meals during the 2018-2019 school year. (Feeding America noted that the government-sponsored Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP, is calculated differently for military families who live off base and thus qualify for the Basic Allowance for Housing.
“Food insecurity amongst the military ranks can cause health issues and negatively impact military readiness,” Feeding America said.
The organization is lobbying for establishment of a military family basic needs allowance, which would provide a monthly stipend to service members with income levels below 130 percent of the federal poverty level.
Visit: Feeding America to learn more.
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