***For Immediate Release***
November 8, 2018
Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853, Ext. 119
Cell: (402) 840-7289
Ahead of Veterans Day, Nebraska Advocates Urge Congress to Protect Food Assistance for Veterans
Program helps nearly 1.4 million low-income veterans, including thousands in Nebraska
LINCOLN — As the nation prepares to observe Veterans Day, Nebraska Appleseed calls on Nebraska’s members of Congress to support veterans by passing a Farm Bill that protects and strengthens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which new data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows helps almost 1.4 million low-income veterans across the country put food on their tables, including 6,000 in Nebraska.
SNAP (formerly called “food stamps) is one of the nation’s most-efficient and effective anti-poverty programs. SNAP helps approximately 78,000 households get back on their feet and pay for groceries, including seniors, people with disabilities, and many workers who are in between jobs or working a job with unstable hours and few benefits.
This is particularly important for low-income veterans, who may be struggling to find a job, working in low-wage jobs, or have a disability. Veterans often face unique barriers as they seek to resume or rebuild their civilian lives and start new careers. Young veterans who leave active duty may have little work experience beyond military service or may have trouble finding a job that matches their skills. Young recent male veterans have higher unemployment rates and lower labor force participation rates than similar civilians, which can make it harder for them to afford enough to eat.
“Our lawmakers must be able to agree that no U.S. veteran should go hungry,” Nebraska Appleseed Economic Justice Director James Goddard said. “That’s why, this Veterans Day, we’re calling on our members of Congress to support people who have bravely served our nation in uniform by upholding the food security resources contained in the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill.”
Although the benefits of SNAP are clear, the program’s future remains less so. The Farm Bill passed on a bipartisan basis by the U.S. Senate in June protects SNAP for veterans and others who are struggling and strengthens programs that can help veterans on SNAP keep a good-paying job while they work to get ahead. In contrast, the version of the bill approved by the U.S. House would cause many veterans and others to lose food assistance through expanded, harsh work requirements that don’t actually help people find employment and have proven to let more families go hungry.
Members of both houses are currently working to reach agreement on a final Farm Bill in a conference committee.
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