Due to the financial burden of the pandemic, demand at local food banks is skyrocketing, and many of those waiting for that food are military families.
Feeding America estimates that 160,000 military personnel and women are suffering from food insecurity. That number includes 29% of junior-level service members.
“Members who join the army are usually young. They are probably young people who may not have been able to build a career because they are in their early twenties and may be really struggling,” said a Feeding America branch. Effie Rorke, a spokeswoman for Feeding Colorado, said.
At government wage levels, military E1 through E4 members, the four most entry-level rankings, average $ 23,559 per year. These salaries are sufficient to qualify these military personnel and women for SNAP benefits, but military personnel receive other benefits such as housing assistance. This is counted as income by SNAP and therefore exceeds the annual income threshold for assistance.
It leaves many people to receive too little money for food and other expenses, but too much money for help.
“If you’re an enlisted service member, you can’t request a salary increase. You can go to your boss and say,” Hey, I’m having a hard time “or” Hey, I need to pay more. ” It does not mean. So this is a widespread issue and is definitely under the radar. Most people are unaware of it, “Roke said.
“It’s difficult. It puts a lot of stress on you, but it also puts stress on your relationship with your family,” said Cory Kilgore, a veteran who retired from the US Army in 2012.
Kilgore has served in the Army for 20 years and states that the problem has been going on for decades before his service. When he enlisted in the Army, he had a wife and a young baby at home and tried to apply for a SNAP benefit, but was rejected because of the same problem.
“Many benefits of the military, like medical care, count it. [as income]But when it comes to your salary and everything like that when you first joined, it’s not that much, “he said.
In April of this year, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R., Tennessee) and Tammy Duckworth (D., Illinois) introduced SB 1488, entitled Military Hunger Prevention Act. Otherwise, it will be subject to SNAP. It was referred to the Agriculture and Forestry Commission for revision.
Feeding America is lobbying for similar scholarships, so those who serve us can afford to serve themselves.
As many as 29% of junior level service members struggle with food insecurity Source link As many as 29% of junior level service members struggle with food insecurity