Saturday, September 30, 2023

Food Stamps For Military Families

Military Families To Get Food Relief

Investigating SNAP fraud hackers target people using food stamps


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 â which in recent years had shrugged off concerns about aâFood Stamp-using military â 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 â whichever is less â eachmonth, Pentagon officials said.

Alternative to Food Stamps

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.

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.

Don’t Miss: Food Stamp Challenge Grocery List

Why Food Insecurity Is Happening: Challenges Unique To Military Life

Many of the drivers of food insecurity are shared among military and civilian populations, but some characteristics of military life present additional challenges for families. These include barriers to accessing food assistance, challenges to household financial stability, and amplified physical and mental health concerns. Each of these increases the likelihood that service members and their families will experience food insecurity during and after their military careers.

Food Assistance

The Thirteenth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, published in December 2020, found that between 0.08 percent and 0.42 percent of service members stationed in the United States were enrolled in SNAP at any point in 2019.24 This is significantly lower than SNAP enrollment in the general U.S. population, which was 9.6 percent the same year. However, low enrollment in SNAP does not necessarily indicate low levels of need among service members. Barriers such as stigma, administrative inconsistencies, and lack of information and awareness can prevent families from accessing resources they need.

Family Economic Security

Some realities of military life make economic stability difficult to achieve, which can compromise families food security and nutrition.

Long-Term Challenges

Snap Use Among Us Military Personnel

Why Military Families Use Food Stamps  KateHorrell

The concept of U.S. military personnelwho make extraordinary sacrifices for their countryrelying on food stamps, or SNAP benefits, is anathema to many. In 2000, Senator John McCain decried soldiers on food stamps one member of the military interviewed by CSIS commented, Join the Army and youll need food stampsthats a hell of a recruitment tool.17 Ideally, for the reasons explained here, no member of the military would face food insecurity, yet for some, it is a reality of life during and after service. The solutions proffered here could obviate the need for SNAP benefits but would take time to implement, and even if implemented fully, some families would still face unexpected circumstances that necessitate food-security assistance. For this reason, the authors do not recommend reducing enrollment in federal nutrition programssuch as SNAP and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children which could increase stigma around these programs and deter otherwise eligible families from accessing services that could improve their well-being. Federal nutrition programs are important sources of food and nutrition for millions, and some of the recommendations in this brief concern these programs.

Impacts of Covid-19

Don’t Miss: How To Apply For Food Stamps In Ma

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.

Recommended Reading: Food Stamps Application Illinois

Pentagon Tells Struggling Army Soldiers Families To Apply For Food Stamps

The Pentagon is recommending U.S. soldiers struggling with soaring food prices apply for welfare, in a move that underscores both low military pay and the economic headwinds facing the nation as a whole.

The recommendation came last month from Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, and directs Army soldiers and their families to apply for food stamps through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known by the acronym SNAP.

With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some Soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets theyve set and used before, the written guidance from Grinston reads. SNAP is a U.S. government program that provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an electronic benefits transfer card that can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores. Service members and their families may be eligible.

“The guidance points soldiers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and links them to the federal welfare programs website.”Billions and billions for Biden’s suicidal Green New Deal and Ukraine, no money fo feed our soldiers and families!

Laughing Libertarian

The official guidance includes other lending and financial counseling programs available to soldiers and lists contact information to help them enroll in SNAP.

Also Check: Can You Get Internet With Food Stamps

The Effect Of Food Stamps On Active Duty Military Personnel

When you think of people who use food stamps, you might not immediately think of active duty military personnel. However, the truth is that many members of the military rely on food stamps to help make ends meet. In fact, according to a recent study, as many as one in four active duty military personnel are on food stamps.

There are a number of reasons why active duty military personnel might need to use food stamps. For one thing, many members of the military are paid relatively low salaries. Additionally, members of the military often have families to support, which can add even more financial strain.

One way that food stamps can help active duty military personnel is by supplementing their income. This extra money can help families buy groceries and other necessary items. Additionally, food stamps can help families stretch their budgets a little bit further.

If you or someone you know is in the military and struggling to make ends meet, there is no shame in using food stamps. In fact, food stamps can be a valuable resource for active duty military personnel and their families.

Why Are Military Families Food Insecure

Georgia rushing to fix food stamps issue ahead of Thanksgiving

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.

You May Like: Duncanville Food Stamp Office

Read Also: 1 800 Number For Food Stamps

You Probably Know People Who Use Food Stamps

The food stamp program currently provides assistance to individuals who qualify based on a combination of income and household size. It’s basically impossible to make generalizations about who qualifies because each state administers the program a little differently, but the USDA does offer a chart that shows some general income guidelines.

Let’s put it this way: Anyone who works anything even close to a minimum-wage job and has any number of other people in their household, such as children, likely qualifies for SNAP. Many, many hard-working Americans — 13% of the entire population in 2020, according to USDA data — qualify for food stamps. New school teachers, janitors, bus drivers, retail workers and your neighbors may all qualify for food stamps.

In short, food stamp users don’t look like the stereotype likely in your head. And some of them wear U.S. military uniforms.

Whats Feeding America Doing

We are calling on Congress to address military hunger in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act by including provisions that expand eligibility for the Basic Needs Allowance.

Congress should expand the Basic Needs Allowance by including in the final NDAA:

  • The House-passed provision that excludes the Basic Allowance for Housing from the gross income calculation for BNA eligibility.
  • The Senate provision that extends BNA eligibility to households making less than 150% of the federal poverty level .

Read Also: What Documents Are Needed For Food Stamps

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. Families whose household income is below 130% of the poverty line, an amount that varies by location, might qualify for the military’s Basic Needs Allowance.

Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance

Why Are Military Families on Food Stamps?

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 showed 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.

The Basic Needs Allowance is designed to replace FSSA.

Don’t Miss: Can You Pay With Ebt On Sam’s Online

Us Army Recommends Food Stamps For Soldiers Struggling With Inflation

The U.S. army is recommending soldiers apply for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, to help cover their rising costs from inflation.

The U.S. Army cites the higher prices on a range of goods because of inflation in its recently released official guidance.

With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some Soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets theyve set and used before, the guidance written by Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston reads. Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance, and advice through the Armys Financial Readiness Program.

The guidance points soldiers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and links them to the federal welfare programs website.

SNAP is a U.S. government program that provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an electronic benefits transfer card that can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores. Service members and their families may be eligible, the Army guidance reads. To determine qualification, visit the SNAP website or call the SNAP information line at 800-221-5689.

Food insecurity for troops is not a new problem, but the recent surge in inflation has put service members in an even tougher situation.

Federal inflation data released in August shows that food prices have risen at the fastest rate since the 1970s.

Free And Reduced Lunch Programs

Military children may qualify for free and reduced lunch programs at their on-base schools or child development centers, or at their off-base schools.

The program, also managed by the USDA, factors BAH into the income qualification only if you live off base.

All families must apply to receive the benefit, but those who receive SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits are automatically eligible.

In 2019, 24% of 23,000 children in U.S. DoDEA schools were eligible for free meals, while 21% were eligible for reduced-price meals, according to the GAO.

Recommended Reading: How To File For Food Stamps In Indiana

What Is The Income Limit For Pa 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

Recommended Reading: Nj Food Stamp Eligibility Calculator

Some Of Americas Bravest Are Going Hungry Why Arent We Doing More To Help Them

Food pantry opens at Fort Leavenworth to help food insecure military members

Desirée Mieir: Desirée had no idea how financially stressful being married to a service member would be. When the twins were born, there were times we would make pasta for a couple of dollars and stretch that out for half the week. Then wed think of some other simple dish to last the rest of the week. The family isnt eligible for food stamps, so the food pantry Desirée frequents is a lifesaver.

Desirée Mieir has four children under the age of ten, including a set of eight-year-old twins, and a husband in the Navy who has been deployed for seven months. She knew life as a military spouse would have challenges, but she never imagined that the biggest one would be feeding her kids.

Today was not a good sale day, Desirée says as she and the kids leave their local San Diego supermarket. When youre on a tight budget, she adds, you kind of have to get creative. Some days we go to a food pantry.

Thats right: To put food on the table, the Mieirs, along with thousands of other military families around the country, rely on the kindness of strangers.

I knew we wouldnt be wealthy, Desirée says about life in the military. But I thought it would be a lot more manageable. I didnt know Id have to try this hard.

Enlisted service members do receive a food allowance, about $373 per month, but that sum is intended for the member alone, not his or her family, and it does not increase if one has dependents.

Don’t Miss: Can I Use Food Stamps Online At Walmart

The Impact Of Food Stamps On The Militarys Ability To Retain Personnel

Recent changes in food stamp eligibility requirements have had a significant impact on the militarys ability to retain personnel. In the past, active duty military personnel were not eligible for food stamps unless they met certain income and asset thresholds. However, the new rules allow military personnel to receive food stamps if they have a family member who is enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program .

Active duty military personnel are not the only ones affected by these changes. Reserve and National Guard members are also eligible for food stamps if they meet the same criteria. These changes have led to an increase in the number of military personnel who are receiving food stamps.

The impact of these changes on the militarys ability to retain personnel is significant. Food stamp benefits can be used to purchase food items that are not available on a military base, and this can make it difficult for military families to make ends meet. In addition, the increased cost of living associated with living on a base can make it difficult formilitary families to afford basic necessities like housing and childcare. As a result, these changes may lead to moremilitary families leaving the service.

Popular Articles
Related news