Don't Let Our Veterans Go Hungry!

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Sponsor: The Veterans Site

There is simply no reason any veteran should be denied the basic right to food. Take action!

The year after Fort Bragg's Y.M.C.A. started a food pantry, it saw a 40 percent increase in requests for groceries. During the same period, grocery requests to AmericaServes, a network that helps military families, jumped to the biggest service request in the organization's history1.

Around the country, tens of thousands of spouses of active-duty troops have lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, and their demographic is often the least likely to be able to find new ones. Military families also often have more children than the national average, but free or reduced meal programs at school have been discontinued as the pandemic has prompted school closures.

"A lot of kids who were getting breakfast and lunch at school no longer are," said Michelle Baumgarten, the associate executive director of the Armed Services Y.M.C.A. at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. "Families were going from two incomes to one income is the common thread."

Meanwhile at Fort Bragg's commissary, requests for peanut butter and jelly and oatmeal have soared.

A recent survey of military households found that 90,000 people serving in the United States military were worried about having enough food to feed themselves and their families2. Further, at least 27 percent of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have struggled to provide food for their families3.

A study from Cambridge University shows that more than 25% of veterans reported food insecurity with 12% reporting "very low food insecurity." The Cambridge study also pointed out that veterans experiencing food insecurity were more likely to be younger, not married or partnered, living in houses with children, have lower incomes, and are more likely to engage in tobacco use and more frequent binge drinking4.

America's veterans have sacrificed so much to defend our country and stand up for what they believe. They've risked their lives in order to keep those of us at home safe. That's why it's so important these brave individuals are taken care of when they return from service.

We need to care for those who have laid down their lives for us. There is simply no reason ANY veteran should be denied the basic right to food. Sign the petition asking the Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, to make it a priority that all veterans have access to food and/or meals.

More on this issue:

  1. Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times (16 December 2020), "Pandemic Leaves More Military Families Seeking Food Assistance."
  2. Jadi Romero, feeding America (2020), "Too Many of the Nation's Military Families Are Going Hungry — and Lawmakers Can Take Action."
  3. Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post (9 October 2017), "Why so many veterans go hungry — and VA's new plan to fix it."
  4. Rachel Widome, Agnes Jensen, Ann Bangerter, Steven S Fu, Cambridge Core (8 May 2014), "Food insecurity among veterans of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ."
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The Petition:

Dear Chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee,

I would like to begin by thanking you for your commitment to the veterans and service members of America. As the Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Committee, you have shown true dedication to helping veterans in all facets of their lives.

However, there is still much to be done. It's appalling that so many veterans return home only to find themselves poor and without support or resources. And many of these veterans are going hungry.

Those who have sacrificed their lives for our safety at home shouldn't have to struggle to meet basic daily human needs. It's deeply upsetting that so many former service members can barely make ends meet from day to day.

I am writing to ask that you make it your priority that no veterans are going hungry and being denied this basic right to food. The first step in honoring our soldiers is providing them with sustenance and nutrition so they are better equipped to take charge of other parts of their lives.


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