Postscript to Memorial Day Post
June 22, 2012
On Memorial Day, we wrote about the many great organizations that help our service men and women and their families who tend to marry and start families younger than their civilian counterparts, and are often supporting those families while still very junior in rank, making wages that fall below the poverty level for a family of four. (Read our original blog post here.) As we noted then, although the pay structure has improved in the last two decades, there is still a sizeable number of military families who receive food assistance, either from military’s Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance program or from private non-profit organizations such as Operation Homefront.
A recent Huffington Post article by Michael McAuliff suggests that the numbers of military members on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is even higher than we had originally thought, with as many as 1000 active duty military members receiving SNAP, and 150,000 households which also receive veterans’ benefits are relying on SNAP. The SNAP and WIC rolls have expanded because of the economic crisis and the greater number of people at risk of food insecurity. Inclusion of military families in their numbers reflects the changing nature of the military family. The Senate has just approved a version of the Farm Bill that cuts SNAP benefits by $90 a month, and the House threatens to cut the program even more. Religious institutions and other charitable institutions which help families in need are not positioned take up the slack without significant increases in their resources. Families having difficulty making ends meet may need even more help. Give generously to your local diaper bank to help ease at least one need.