This article originally appeared in Arizona Daily Star on October 19, 2021.
Re: the Oct. 11 article “Nutrition and food security are vital to national security.”
I am the former board chair of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. I was heartened by Mr. Zahner’s piece arguing that “nutrition and food security are national security issues.”
Another clear linkage between food and national security directly affects those who make the utmost sacrifice for our country — food insecurity among military families. Policymakers in Washington must make the child tax credit permanent and remove barriers to federal assistance programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC. These programs are proven against poverty and food insecurity, and continued investments make us all safer.
Now there is a bipartisan, commonsense solution, backed by leading anti-hunger groups like MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, being considered in Congress as part of the annual defense bill. This proposal will ensure that children in military families—those most likely to enlist for future military service themselves — do not struggle with food insecurity and diet-related conditions that could make them unfit to serve.
Addressing military hunger is a matter of mission readiness, troop retention, and future recruitment. Arizona’s congressional delegation must support the Military Family Basic Needs provision.