Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland on Friday, April 2, announced that she is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would help low-income military families living with food insecurities make ends meet by providing a basic needs allowance.
The legislation, titled the Military Hunger Prevention Act, would pay each covered member a basic needs allowance to support low-income service members who are currently not eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, according to a news release from Rep. Strickland’s office.
The legislation was originally introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Democratic Rep. Jimmy Panetta and has the backing of Reps. Don Young, Don Bacon, Salud Carbajal and Jim Baird.
“Our military community has not gone untouched by the challenges of this pandemic, including the economic strain it has placed on housing and hunger,” Strickland said in a statement. “The bottom line is that people who serve our country should not have to worry about putting food on the table.
“The Military Hunger Prevention Act is the investment that our military families need and deserve … Taking care of our military families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in my district and across our nation is not only foundational to our nation’s readiness, it is also just the right thing to do for those who make sacrifices every single day to keep us safe,” she continued.
Many military families living off-base receive a federal allowance called a Base Allowance for Housing to pay for private housing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration counts the allowance as income when considering SNAP eligibility, according to Strickland’s office, disqualifying many who face food insecurity.
Many of those families turn to food pantries and food banks for assistance. The Military Hunger Prevention Act would establish a new allowance fund through the Secretary of Defense to assist those families, Strickland’s office says.