Rep. Barry More joins field hearing on providing food security for vets
Published 11:01 am Thursday, July 14, 2022
Rep. Barry Moore (AL-02) joined a field hearing in California this week focused on the problem of food insecurity among America’s military veterans.
Moore is a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee in the U.S. Congress. At the hearing, Moore emphasized the importance of ensuring veterans are aware of, and have easy access to, government assistance available to them.
“Food security for veterans, as well as for all Americans, is an essential component of a stable life. Food insecurity can also be detrimental to a person’s mental health,” Moore said at the hearing. “It is important for us to evaluate the way we are providing this security to ensure that it is being administered in the most effective manner to help those who need it the most.
“We also need to do this in an intelligent manner for American taxpayers, as well. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other assistance programs are vital for veterans and others to have food security. We know that the best way to ensure that veterans have food security is to have a strong economy with good paying jobs that pay the bills. While veteran employment is finally back at pre-pandemic levels, our recovery has been sluggish, and we must do all we can to enact pro-growth polices that will help the thousands of veterans who are being hit hard by the rise in prices at the pump and for basic necessities like food.”
At the hearing, Economic Research Service Economist Matthew Rabbit said that veterans have a higher predicated rate for food insecurity than non-veterans but only 7 percent of veterans are estimated to have participated in SNAP between 2016 and 2018.
Moore suggested that a sense of pride might be prohibiting some veterans from using the help that’s available.
“You got these Purple Heart parking spaces that we put into law and none of the veterans will use it because it’s like, it’s almost like pride for them,” Moore said at the hearing. “I mean, it’s like they don’t want to ask for help.”
San Diego Hunter Coalition CEO Anahid Brakke agreed with Moore’s assessment and said that the stigma surrounding programs like SNAP also plays a part.
“I think that it’s, they’re probably the most, as it was mentioned earlier, the most proud and the most ashamed,” Brakke continued. “When our national level rhetoric continues to look at SNAP, as you know, a bunch of freeloaders, how do we expect our veterans to go with pride and ask for help?”
U.S. President Joe Biden will be holding a “Hunger Summit” in September to further look at the issue of food insecurity in America, including among veterans. For information on programs available for military families, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/military-and-veteran-families.