Getting food on the table has become increasingly more difficult with every passing month in this high-inflation climate, pricing many American families out of nutritious meals.
That being said, help is out there, and the federal government funds a number of different programs aimed at combating hunger among lower-income Americans, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or other alignments.
Today, we’ll focus on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, as well as what it can do in terms of providing assistance to veterans.
Often overlooked, war veterans in the US are a demographic that’s in dire need of help most of the time, and every single dollar invested in making their lives easier is a dollar well spent.
The years they devoted to defending this country and fighting for freedom should be respected, and government benefits are only a portion of what they should be getting in return.
How can SNAP help?
Food insecurity among veterans is a growing issue, and SNAP is the perfect program for dealing with it, as it gives them instant access to nutritious food.
On top of this, food stamps is a program that is intended to offer benefits for extended periods of time, allowing the beneficiary to focus on dealing with other matters instead of keeping food on the table.
If you look at the data, more than 1.1 million veterans are collecting their SNAP benefits regularly, and as demoralizing as that sounds, the program is providing them with the bare minimum they need.
Unemployment or low income jobs are one of the main causes for food insecurity for veterans, and even though dealing with the root cause would be more effective, access to food stamps allows these individuals to focus on re-education and maybe even start a new career in the meantime.
Reports show that veterans aged 18 to 24 are much more likely to struggle with unemployment or being forced to work low income jobs for extended periods of time.
This would bring anyone down, and it’s not hard to understand why so many veterans feel like everyone’s given up on them, including the country they’ve given their lives away protecting.
On top of this, younger veterans don’t have a lot of work experience outside of working for the military, which makes finding a decent job that much harder for them.
Homelessness and disabilities are yet another issue these individuals deal with on a daily basis, and once you add mental health issues caused by wartime trauma into the mix, the life of a veteran suddenly doesn’t look all that easy.
These people have to live with all of these difficulties every day, yet they find meaning in life and enjoy the little things, and SNAP can help make this easier for them.
Even though it’s a federal government program, eligibility for SNAP benefits is determined by the program’s administering body in each state.
That being said, there are some general rules to adhere to in order to maximize your chances of receiving benefits.
SNAP has income-based eligibility, and applicants are generally required to provide proof of having income at or below a certain threshold of the federal poverty guidelines, which is defined by each state’s program administrator.
Aside from having to show proof of having insufficient income to pay for your monthly food needs, you may also need to show that your household’s assets don’t exceed $4250 and if you don’t have any disabled family members in the household, this threshold falls down to only $2750.
How does it work
Much like the standard benefits for SNAP, veterans also receive their funds on an EBT card, which they can then use to purchase qualifying products in participating stores.
These funds are stored on the card even if they’re not all spent entirely over the course of one month, and will only expire if the card isn’t being used for extended periods of time.
Of course, EBT cards can’t be used to purchase tobacco or alcoholic beverages, meaning that the cards are incredibly difficult to abuse.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the card can only be used to purchase food products.
Even though there’s generally a waiting list for SNAP benefits, veterans and disabled Americans have a priority when it comes to receiving benefits, and will be pushed to the front of the queue.
Food is getting more expensive with each passing day, and veterans have drawn the short end of the stick when it comes to the amount of assistance available to them.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they can’t make use of the already available government programs, and SNAP is one of the more effective ones in terms of providing help.
By giving veterans access to nutritious meals every day, SNAP can ensure they’re able to focus on dealing with other, more pressing matters instead of trying to keep their stomach full.