Statement Regarding Today's GAO Report on Food Assistance Programs for Active Military Members

LOS ANGELES, July 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger today issued this statement in response to Today's GAO Report on Food Assistance Programs for Active Military Members:

"We are very encouraged by the findings in the Government Accountability Office report about hunger in the military released today.

The report includes many startling figures that demonstrate a true food insecurity problem among military families, including that, on average, of the 19,001 children enrolled in DODEA (DOD Education Activity) schools in the U.S. during the 2014-2015 school year, 26 percent qualified for free meals and 25 percent were eligible for reduced-price meals. We support the report's recommendation that the Department of Defense must collect more data in order to to fully understand the shameful incidence of hunger within the military. In fact, we think such action is essential. As indicated in the report, I testified in front of Congress on Jan. 12, 2016, about this very problem and the need for SNAP eligibility rules to be adjusted so thousands of military families can get the vital support they need from this federal nutrition program.

We urge collaboration among the Pentagon, the USDA and Congress to address this crisis. It is inexcusable that those who courageously serve our country should struggle with hunger."

BACKGROUND:
"Military Personnel: DOD Needs More Complete Data on Active-Duty Servicemembers' Use of Food Assistance Programs" validates that there are currently serving military families that may be struggling to make ends meet. The report provides an in-depth analysis of food assistance programs available to currently serving military families and contains detailed information regarding the existence of food pantries at or around the military bases.

About MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Founded in 1985, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. For more information, please visit mazon.org.