Discrepancy Between Veteran Food Insecurity and Use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Discrepancy Between Veteran Food Insecurity and Use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

“Food insecurity is linked to poorer physical and mental health, including an increased risk of suicide. Therefore, addressing the needs of food-insecure veterans is a national priority. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs conducts routine screenings to identify veterans at risk of food insecurity and refer them to sources of support. Nonetheless, food-insecure veterans are consistently less likely than their nonveteran peers to be enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This research adds to the evidence base on food-insecure veterans who do and do not enroll in SNAP, as well as differences between
food-insecure veterans’ and nonveterans’ reasons for starting and ending — or losing — SNAP benefits and patterns in these groups’ use of other safety-net programs. For example, veterans’ benefits could push their income above the eligibility threshold for SNAP. Although it is a federal program, SNAP is administered by the states, and the RAND analyses highlighted potential policy options to facilitate SNAP access for food-insecure veterans.

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