We know that SNAP helps about 1.2 million low-income veterans, but we fear that millions more are struggling without help from the country they served. Please join MAZON in urging the Administration to expand SNAP access for veterans.
Dear Secretary McDonough,
Approximately 1.2 million low-income veterans received SNAP benefits, and about 7% of veterans lived in households that received SNAP before the outbreak of COVID-19. For far too long, many veterans have been struggling without the assistance of federal nutrition programs, in part due to stigma, shame, and lack of information. A recent study showed that among veterans who are eligible for assistance from SNAP, only 1 out of 3 currently participate in the program. Additional research shows particularly high rates of food insecurity among post-9/11 veterans and veterans who are women.
The Biden Administration must do more to engage veterans who receive care and services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as those who do not receive care through the VA system. We must work together to do all we can to connect veterans at risk of food insecurity to available assistance from SNAP, which is becoming increasingly difficult due to COVID-19.
Enrolling eligible veterans in SNAP helps to prevent costly diet-related chronic health conditions and heads off a cycle of economic hardship that can lead to a downward spiral, sometimes tragically resulting in veteran suicide.
Particularly in the wake of COVID-19, policymakers must prioritize funding for veteran SNAP outreach and enrollment initiatives. This is a critical element in addressing the nutritional and health needs of all veterans — those within and outside the VA system. We must all work together to increase the capacity of the VA, veteran service organizations, and community partners to ensure that no veteran goes hungry. We hope the new Administration will prioritize addressing veteran hunger by expanding their access to SNAP.