Saturday, May 25, 2024

Can Military Families Get Food Stamps

Real People Real Needs

Military families turn to food banks for help

When D. McNeils family of four moved overseas for her spouses new billet, she was forced to resign from her job and they became a single income household. PCS costs added up and when they needed some additional help in making ends meet, WIC was there.

Kim R., an Air Force spouse, was on WIC for just under a year after giving birth over a decade ago. She was introduced to the program by one of her nurses after her baby was found to be lactose intolerant and required an extremely expensive formula. This program was a lifesaver to their family who now regularly gives back to their local food bank as a way of teaching their daughter about the importance of these programs. When asked if she ever faced any scrutiny for being enrolled in the program, she said that they were very private about it and that her spouses command never knew. Every mother wants to have a healthy baby, Kim R. said. It really is about the nutrition of the child.

Military families are struggling with food insecurity for many of the same reasons as their civilian counterparts. Root causes include loss of income or a financial emergency, such as an unexpected car repair. Moves and high spouse unemployment, both of which are common in the military community, can also impact a households food security.

What Benefits Do 100% Disabled Vets Get

Benefits for 100 Percent Disabled Veterans Health. When enrolling in the VA health care system, each veteran is assigned to a priority group. Housing . Specially Adapted Housing Grant. Special Home Adaption Grant. Temporary Residence Adaptation. Vehicle Registration. Recreation. Benefits for dependents.

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Hungry Heroes: 25 Percent Of Military Families Seek Food Aid

SAN DIEGO, Calif. Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Yetter, a Navy sailor for 17 years, works a second job as a security guard and donates blood plasma twice a week to help make ends meet for his family. Deployed seven times during his military career, including an extended 19-month tour to Iraq, Yetter squeezes in family time with his three young boys and his wife in-between jobs.

To save money, the Yetters recently moved off base into a two-bedroom apartment they share with another sailor and his two sons, who stay there part time. Despite their penny-pinching efforts, the Yetters have been living paycheck-to-paycheck for many years as they work to get rid of debt accumulated over everyday expenses like car repairs and gas and the costs of caring for an autistic son. They often visit food pantries to keep their kitchen stocked.

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Maximum Monthly Amounts On Food Stamps

There is a maximum monthly allotment based on the size of the household. When determining your benefit allotment, they will take your net monthly income and multiply it by 30%. That number will then be subtracted from the maximum monthly allotment. The remaining amount is the total monthly allotment you will receive based on your application. This amount may change if your income or household size changes.

SNAP benefits are a specific money amount provided to recipients each month to go towards nutritional foods. Recipients are provided with an electronic benefits transfer card, and money is added to the card each month. You can check your balance by phone, and any unused funds at the end of the month remain on the card to be used to following month. Once allocated, benefits will not expire.

Benefits can be used to buy food and drinks at most grocery stores, convenient stores, gas stations, pharmacies that sell food, and farmers markets. Benefits cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, medicine, hot food, food meant to be eaten in the store, or any non-food items.

Why Are Military Families Food Insecure

Why are Military Families on Food Stamps?

Service members often experience unique challenges that make them more likely to face hunger: Limited income: Some lower-ranking active duty military members make less than $40,000 a year. With a lower income, it can be challenging to afford food at the end of the month, especially while supporting a family.

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Question Of Basic Needs

The fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act established a basic needs allowance to ensure no servicemembers income falls below 130 percent of the poverty line. Duckworth was the Senates leading advocate for that provision, and in the House it was Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif.

But the final NDAA provision may not prove as effective as it might have been, anti-hunger advocates say. The provision did not require that housing allowances be excluded from income calculation. Instead, the law leaves it up to the service secretaries to determine whether to include the housing allowance in the tally in regions where housing costs and other living expenses are deemed to be high.

In addition, the new law says servicemembers must apply for the aid. For many of them, a stigma is still attached to getting help, so this may deter many from applying, the advocates add.

Duckworth said the basic needs allowance provision only lasts for five years anyway, whereas she called changing the nutrition assistance law a more foundational solution.

She also said she is open to considering ways to increase pay levels for enlisted personnel.

The Agriculture Committee not the Armed Services Committee, where Duckworth serves has jurisdiction over the nutrition assistance program, which was formerly called food stamps. Duckworth said she has discussed her bill with Debbie Stabenow, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Agriculture panel.

Who Has Ever Struggled With Hunger

The audience of residents, community advocates, and leaders sheepishly looked around the room. After a brief moment of uncomfortable silence, the speaker proclaimed that everyones hands should be raised. Surely each of us had experienced the feeling of a growling stomach before a late dinner or, maybe even the sensation of fatigue after having to skip lunch due to a busy schedule? There was some chatter, even laughter in the audience as everyone recalled those experiences. However, the conversation quickly turned somber. The speaker explained that while nearly everyone has experienced hunger, many of us are fortunate to know where we can go to get our next meal whether it is at home, the grocery store, or even out at a restaurant. Currently, 1 in 8 Americans are not that lucky they are food insecure.

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The Military And Food Stamps

Food stamps and other food assistance programs can help low income Americans — including military members — buy food.

The food stamp program, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, are both administered by the Department of Agriculture.

WIC and food stamp vouchers can be used at both on-base commissary and Exchange stores and at off-base markets.

Families with children may also qualify for a free and reduced lunch program on or off base.

Can Snap And Fssa Be Used Concurrently

Military veterans and families face food shortage amid pandemic

No. Once you receive FSSA benefits, your eligibility for SNAP ends. You are required to report the FSSA income to the SNAP office as income. However, those who receive SNAP benefits are authorized and encouraged to apply for FSSA to replace SNAP.

Receiving FSSA benefits may also affect the ability to financially qualify for other government programs such as WIC . It may also change eligibility for school lunch programs, earned income tax credits, and other benefits.

Tax code for both federal and state income taxes change frequently. Ask a tax professional how recipient of federal assistance such as SNAP or FSSA affects taxes.

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Do Survivor Benefits Count As Income For Food Stamps


Eufrasio Rjeussky

incomeSNAPincomeincomeincomechild support

Bendehiba Rockl

Things you CAN buy using EBT / SNAP:

  • Breads and cereals.
  • Seeds and plants that produce food such as tomato seeds.
  • Bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages.

Dawne Planella

Military Families To Get Food Relief


Staff Writer

Local military families may be among some 6,000 young Marines,sailors, soldiers, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel who mayqualify for a new Pentagon assistance program that gives them up to$500 to help feed their families, officials said.

The program marks an official recognition by the Department ofDefense — which in recent years had shrugged off concerns about a”Food Stamp-using military — that some families in the militarysranks are having a tough time making ends meet financially.

Military officials said they arent sure yet how many localtroops may qualify for the new Family Subsistence SupplementalAllowance, a program which took effect May 1.

Likewise, military officials say they arent completely clearwhat possible negative impacts recipients of the new aid programmay face. Some analysts say those who sign up and receive fundsfrom the new aid program might find their federalWomen-Infant-Children or Food Stamp benefits curtailed or possiblyeven cut off.

400 Marines could qualify

Roughly 400 Marine families worldwide could qualify, a MarineCorps official said.

The money would supplement the basic allowance for subsistencetroops already receive each month to cover their own meals.

Qualifying service members would get the difference betweentheir households gross monthly income and the qualifying monthlyincome level for Food Stamps or $500 — whichever is less — eachmonth, Pentagon officials said.

Alternative to Food Stamps


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Food Stamps And Military Families

Military members stationed in the U.S. can apply for food stamps at their local SNAP office. Although SNAP benefits are administered by each state, the USDA can help you find your nearest office. Some states may also allow you to apply online. Visit the USDA website for a link for your state’s office and rules.

To be eligible for food stamps, military families must meet certain income requirements. Although combat pay, hostile fire pay and imminent danger pay aren’t counted as part of that income, all other pay, including Basic Allowance for Housing, is.

Related: Use this calculator to figure out your pay.

That means that while your family may qualify to receive SNAP in a low cost of living area where your BAH payment is relatively small, you may not qualify in a high cost of living area where your BAH payment is much larger.

Anti-hunger advocates are hoping legislation will fix this issue and place BAH on the list of pay that is not counted as SNAP income.

How many military families use SNAP benefits is notoriously difficult to track. The most recent data shows that about 22,000 active-duty troops used food stamps in 2019, the most recent year for which such data was available.

What Is The Income Limit For Pa Food Stamps

Why are Military Families on Food Stamps?

There are many factors that determine how much you will receive in SNAP benefits in Pennsylvania.

These include household size, monthly income, and if a member of your household is 60 years old or older, or has a disability.

The income limit is perhaps the most important factor.

Most households in Pennsylvania must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines , to be potentially eligible for SNAP.

The Pennsylvania SNAP Income Chart provided below shows both the gross monthly income and net monthly income based on your household size.

PA SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 September 30, 2022
Household Size

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Who Qualifies For Verizon Military Discount

Verizon Wireless Military Discount All government employees including active duty, reserves, and national guard are eligible. This discount is also extended to retired military, veterans and their families through Veterans Advantage. Military families can take advantage of the following deals: $10 off one line.

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Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance

The Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance program was created in 2001 in response to reports about service families requiring federal food benefits. Eligibility for FSSA was based upon the total household income and the total household size. Eligibility amounts varied depending on your duty station, as there were different rates for the contiguous 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska and overseas.

The FSSA is designed to raise a military member’s household income to 130% of the federal poverty level for their area.

The FSSA program was terminated for families stationed in the U.S. in September 2016 after the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission recommended ending the program. Studies found that SNAP benefits were a more efficient way of helping needy families.

Pentagon data shows that fewer than 300 people qualify for FSSA worldwide. A 2010 Defense Department report showed that an E-4 with over three years of service must have seven members in their family at Fort Bragg, North Carolina or nine in their family in San Diego, California to qualify for the program.

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Bill Would Create Allowance For Military Families With Food Insecurity

Thousands of military families face food insecurity, but the way the Department of Agriculture calculates eligibility for federal benefits is locking many of them out of assistance. A group of lawmakers are hoping to change that with the Military Hunger Prevention Act, reintroduced Thursday by Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

The law would create a basic needs allowance for low-income military families who would otherwise qualify for the USDAs Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but for the fact that the program considrs basic allowance for housing used to pay for off-base rent or mortgage as income when calculating service members eligibility .

Basically, what happens is right now, we know that there are many military families that have to rely on food stamps, that are food insecure, and many more that would qualify for the program, except that they cant because their BAH was being counted against them, Duckworth told Military Times on Thursday.

To get around that, the bill would supplement troops earning less than 130 percent of the poverty line, enough to bring them to that level.

The bill is co-sponsored by a group of 11 bipartisan lawmakers, and has a companion bill in the House.


USDA doesnt calculate any other benefits this way, Duckworth said, so her legislation would put service members and civilians on par in their eligibility.

Most Troops Aren’t On Food Stamps

Thousands of military families face food insecurity

While any troops or military families going hungry — or any Americans at all, for that matter — are too many, the percentage of military families on food stamps is peanuts compared to the American population at large. In 2019, the last year for which we have such data, 1.5% of the active-duty force was on SNAP.

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How To Apply For Food Stamps Online For Military Families

Military families apply online for food stamp benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the same way as other families. Even though SNAP is a federal benefit, all states govern their own delivery of the program. Some states offer an online application,while others do not. Military applicants are responsible for providing proof of income and resources, though in some cases not all military pay is included in the calculation.

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