Veterans and active military members put their lives on the line to serve our country. Unfortunately, many veterans and active military members face hunger. Across the United States, veterans and military families visit food banks and food pantries to help make ends meet.

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Veteran hunger facts

1 in 9

working-age veterans live in food insecure households.


of active-duty service members were food insecure in 2020.


million low-income veterans use SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

Hunger impacts veterans and military families every day

No one who served this country should struggle to feed their family. But that's the reality for many veterans, active-duty service members, and military families. 1 in 9 working-age veterans lived in food-insecure households, and 1 in 4 active-duty service members was food insecure in 2020.

Veterans and food insecurity

Some veterans are more likely to experience hunger, including:

  • Female veterans
  • Veterans with disabilities
  • Unemployed veterans

Veterans are more likely to experience challenges that put someone, including:

  • Low wages and unemployment
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Mental health issues like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Service-related disabilities
  • Systemic racism, sexism, and discrimination

SNAP can help more veterans facing hunger

  • According to the Census, 1.2 million low-income veterans use SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) to make groceries more affordable. 
  • More veterans are eligible for SNAP but don't participate because they don't know they're qualified or are ashamed of needing help.

Hunger and military families

Some of the reasons military families face hunger include the following:

  • Lower salaries at lower ranks
  • High unemployment rates for military spouses
  • High cost of living near military bases

Many military families aren't eligible for food assistance programs

  • The housing allowance many military families receive to help make housing more affordable is considered income. Unfortunately, this additional income disqualifies many families from federal food assistance programs.

Join us in the fight against hunger

Now that you've learned more about hunger among veterans and military families, help us make a difference.