Feinstein, Duckworth, Murkowski, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Tackle Military Hunger
Mar 09 2022
Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and a group of their colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to support active duty military families experiencing food insecurity and prevent hunger in these families. The Military Family Nutrition Access Act would address this critical issue by excluding Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)—a subset of military compensation intended to cover the costs of off-base housing—from income calculations used to determine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility.
In addition to Feinstein, Duckworth and Murkowski, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
“The men and women in our armed forces should never worry that they can’t afford to put food on their tables,” said Feinstein. “I’m proud to join with Senator Duckworth in introducing a bill to ensure all our active duty service members and their families don’t go hungry. Everyone who qualifies for SNAP should receive those benefits, particularly members of our armed forces who make so many sacrifices in service to our nation.”
“Far too many of our military families are going hungry because of unintended barriers that make them unable to access essential nutrition assistance programs that they should be eligible for,” Duckworth said. “As someone whose family relied on these nutrition programs after my father lost his job, and who served in the uniform for most of my adult life, I’m proud to be introducing this bipartisan legislation that builds on the progress we made in last year’s defense bill on helping make sure our servicemembers and their families have enough to eat.”
“No American who is serving and sacrificing to protect our nation should ever struggle to put food on the table for themselves or their families,” said Rosen. “With as many as 20 percent of those in our Armed Forces experiencing food insecurity, I’m joining Senator Duckworth and my other Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to immediately address this urgent issue and make nutritional assistance programs more accessible for servicemembers and their families.”
“Our military members and their families sacrifice so much for our country. They shouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table,” said Durbin. “With the Military Family Nutrition Access Act, we can address food insecurity within the military community and ensure that nutrition assistance programs remain within reach for our servicemembers.”
“This legislation will provide essential nutrition assistance to military families experiencing food insecurity,” said Blumenthal. “Tens of thousands of servicemembers struggle to feed and support their families, but current SNAP guidelines often disqualify them from this federal lifeline. By expanding eligibility and modifying income calculations, the Military Family Nutrition Access Act will help those bravely serving and defending our nation put food on the table.”
“It is unacceptable that any servicemember worries about how to feed their family. We must do right by these brave men and women and ensure that our military families never experience food insecurity,” said Klobuchar. “By expanding access to critical nutritional assistance programs, this important legislation will help our servicemembers reliably put food on the table.”
“Members of our armed services and their families make tremendous sacrifices to serve and protect our country. We must ensure that they never go hungry,” said Gillibrand. “This bill would make long overdue changes to SNAP eligibility requirements that unintentionally exclude service members and make it harder for them to put food on the table. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of this critical legislation and I’ll keep fighting to combat food insecurity on our military bases and beyond.”
“It is unacceptable that those risking everything to serve our country and their families are facing food insecurity,” said Padilla. “The brave members of our armed forces deserve better, which is why I have joined Senator Duckworth in supporting the Military Family Nutrition Access Act to end hunger among our military families.”
“Our servicemembers and their families make tremendous sacrifices to serve our country, which is why it is shameful that nearly 20% of military members experience food insecurity,” said Warnock. “A lack of access to food, which has only been exacerbated by the uncertainties of the pandemic, undermines our military’s readiness. I’m proud to join Sen. Duckworth in introducing the Military Family Nutrition Access Act, which will improve access to federal nutrition assistance for military members and make sure our servicemembers and their families have more than enough food on the table.”
“As members of the United States Armed Forces courageously serve our nation, we must do everything in our power to honor their sacrifices and provide support for their families,” said Booker. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan legislation that would help address the pernicious problem of food and nutrition insecurity, which affects nearly 20% of military families. This critical effort ensures that servicemembers and their loved ones are able to obtain the resources they need and deserve to feed their families.”
This legislation is endorsed by a number of advocacy organizations, including: MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) and the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN).