Numbers published this week reveal that a growing number of U.S. soldiers are turning to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, to make ends meet. The electronic benefits are being redeemed at soaring rates on military bases and military grocery stores, or commissaries.
In fact, these numbers have gone from from $31.1 million in 2008 – since the beginning of what has been termed the “Great Recession” – to $103.6 million in fiscal 2013.
The level of spending has jumped from $52.9 million in 2010 to $103.6 million in 2013. The Army Times stated that the Agriculture Department’s most recent tally of active-duty military members on food stamps was conducted in 2011, when only about .36% of the active-duty population found themselves on food stamps.
But the commissaries only track the benefits not whether those using them are active duty or veterans. This would seem to indicate the the greatest number of military men and women using the SNAP benefits are veterans who have found themselves either unemployed or under-employed.
(Article by M.B. David; image via the New Yorker)