MAZON Applauds House Passage of FY21 NDAA; Urges Senate to Support Military Families Facing Hunger

July 21, 2020

Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a provision to address hunger among currently serving military families. The bipartisan Military Family Basic Needs Allowance, championed by MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, is a targeted provision that aims to eliminate common barriers to nutrition assistance for military families including shame, stigma, and fear of retribution.

In response, Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO, said:

“The Military Family Basic Needs Allowance in the NDAA FY21 is a first step in ensuring that those who fight for our freedom also have freedom from hunger. We are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Susan Davis, Jackie Speier, and Don Young for working closely with MAZON’s team to ensure that this provision was included in the bill that the House passed this afternoon.

“Year after year, day after day, we at MAZON are appalled that enlisted military personnel are unable to feed their families, turning for help to food pantries that operate on or near every military base in the U.S. This is all the more important today, as COVID-19 is exacerbating the financial challenges of even more military families who already experience challenges such as high rates of spousal unemployment and frequent and costly moves.

“We call on the Senate — particularly Senate Armed Services Committee Chair James Inhofe, Ranking Member Jack Reed, Personnel Subcommittee Chair Thom Tillis, and Personnel Subcommittee Ranking Member Kirsten Gillibrand — to prioritize this common sense provision in the FY21 NDAA. Those who make significant sacrifices for our country should never struggle to put food on the table.

For nearly a decade, MAZON has made it a priority to understand and address the unique challenges of military families who struggle with food insecurity, leading a national effort to advance policy solutions.