Military families use record number of food stamps
The use of food stamps by military families, military retirees and others who have on-base privileges has tripled since 2008.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Military families, military retirees and others with shopping privileges on military bases redeemed nearly $104 million worth of food stamps at commissaries in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That's a 5 percent increase from 2012 and the highest it's ever been.
According to CNN Money, food stamp usage at military commissaries has more than tripled since the Great Recession in 2008.
That outpaces the growth in food stamp use by the general population, says CBS MoneyWatch.
"I'm amazed, but there's a very real need," Thomas Greer told CNN. Greer is a spokesman for Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that provides financial and emergency assistance to some of the country's lowest-paid service members.
Greer said that in 2013, Operation Homefront received 2,968 emergency requests for food help, nearly three times the number in 2008.
A number of factors reportedly have contributed to the upswing in military family food stamp usage.
- Eligibility changes. More military families qualified for food stamps after some states lowered eligibility requirements during the recession.
- Low pay. New soldiers earn about $20,000 annually. The government doesn't consider the value of government-provided housing when determining military families' eligibility for food stamps, according to Military OneSource, a Department of Defense-funded program.
- Spousal unemployment. The unemployment rate for military spouses ages 18-24 was a whopping 30 percent in 2012. The economic climate and frequent relocations for military families have made it difficult for military spouses to find work, according to a 2013 military spouse survey.
Congress recently cut funding for the food stamp program -- which impacts military and civilian families. Meanwhile, Military Times reports that the Pentagon is considering raising prices at commissaries.
More on Money Talks News:
I have been in the military for over 20 years and I came in as an E-1 and I was forced to live within my means. A lot of kids these days at the E-1-E-4 level have 2 or 3 kids because they are not looking at the true cost of living. Walk through the junior enlisted parking lots on any base and you will see some nice rides all financed through the roof, They will have the latest fashion jeans, shirts and footwear, and designer purses as they proudly utilize their food stamps and whine that they don't have the money to make ends meet.
No one joins the Military to get rich but they make more than the average high school grad. stop breeding,live within your means, and make rank.
3 meals a day
Free Base housing
extra money for each person.
I was in the Military for over 25 years, I never had a problem, yes I was enlisted.
This is a freaking joke, they aren't used to living without.
That's 20,000 of extra money to have fun with.
These young kids rush out and buy new car's, motorcycle's, and every new electronic device on the market.
Just go to any Military Exchange, it's like walking into Wal-Mart, but it's right there in your face.
Then these kids get credit cards, and charge everything.
They just don't care.
Now they are all bitching they don't have any money to buy food.
Please look at everything else they own before making your judgment.
They have learned to play the game, and they want you to fill sorry for them.
Most of these kids have more stuff then you can ever imagine.
I have seen all this first hand, and it will never stop.
The car dealers know how to work the system also, get the kid into a contract, and do a pay-roll deduction, which makes the kid look like he isn't getting paid anything at the end of the month.
When I was in the military, and someone did what these people are doing now, the chain of command got involved in a heart beat...
this was called managing your bills, and if you couldn't, can you say Article 15.
There is no draft these people are signing up for a job. The problem is we should not have troops in 60 countries . USA go home
The real shame is the number on SNAP that do not provide service to the country. There should be service or work requirements associated with all forms of government assistance. These service members are potentially putting there life on the line for the defense of the nation.
Now what are the others that are receiving assistance doing?
I worked at a unionized company which paid very well. One day we were discussing money, and we discovered that after I paid all my bills which he did not have to pay (rent, food, and laundry primarily), he actually had more left-over money than I did. He had been in the Navy for something under three years at the time.
P.S. That unionized company no longer exists. It has been absorbed by another company, and there is no longer a large HQ in California.
And why not? Civilians are not allowed to exclude the value of their housing when determining their eligibility.
P.S. The military, other than ministers, is the only category of Americans who can buy a house with tax-free money and yet deduct the mortgage interest on their taxes. This is not a knock on the military. It is a knock on our tax laws.
Half of the damned workforce is on food stamps and the other half dropped out of the workforce altogether. Obamaville.
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