MAZON Strongly Supports the Bi-Cameral Military Hunger Prevention Act

March 5, 2018

MAZON is grateful to Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Tom Udall (D-NM) for their leadership in introducing the Military Hunger Prevention Act (S. 2488) in the 115th Congress. This bipartisan legislation—a counterpart bill to HR 1078, introduced in 2017 in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA)—would will help more military families struggling with food insecurity qualify for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

For years, some military families have been disqualified from receiving SNAP because the military’s monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is treated as income for determining eligibility for this program. S. 2488 / H.R. 1078 would correct this unintended technical error and ensure that servicemembers get the help they need to provide adequate nutrition for their families.

Senators Duckworth, Murkowski, and Udall—along with more than 60 bipartisan House cosponsors of H.R. 1078—understand the urgency of this issue. Although the USDA claims that approximately 23,000 military households receive help from SNAP, MAZON estimates an additional 25,000 military households would qualify for SNAP if not for this technical glitch. Instead, these families turn to food pantries for emergency assistance. It is notable that there are food pantries on or near every single military base in the U.S. 

It is wrong for military families to be treated as a political bargaining chip. We feel strongly that those who make significant sacrifices for our country should never have to struggle to put food on the table. We support the Military Hunger Prevention Act and urge Congress to ensure its passage into law as quickly as possible and without sacrificing the standards of our nation’s vital nutrition safety net.

Highlights of MAZON’s leadership on this issue:

Help Our Heroes Program Overview

MAZON testifies before Congress on the topic of military hunger | January 2016

U.S. Hunger Commission Adopts MAZON Recommendations | January 2016

MAZON Condemns Chairman Mike Conaway’s Blocking of Amendment to Help Military Families | July 2017

Op-Ed: Why we need Congress to help more military families qualify for food aid | February 2017

Statement Regarding GAO Report on Food Assistance Programs for Active Military Members | July 2016

MAZON Calls For End To Military Hunger | January 2015