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The military community includes both people on active duty (more than 1.3 million) and veterans (20 million). There are also 800,000 reserve forces. The five branches of the U.S. military are the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. U.S. military personnel come from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
About 23,000 active duty personnel received benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously food stamps) in 2013, the latest year for which statistics are available. This is a lower percentage than hunger rates for the average U.S. household (2 percent versus 12.3 percent). However, no one helping to defend our country should struggle to put food on the table.
Similarly, veterans experience hunger at just over half the national rate (7 percent v. 12.3 percent). Nearly 1.4 million veterans face food insecurity. Veterans are at higher risk of food insecurity if any of the following apply to them: they are younger, they left the military at a lower pay grade than is typical, they earn less at their post-military jobs, they are unmarried, or they live in households with more children than the typical veteran.
More than 1.25 million veterans live below the poverty line. Young veterans, veterans of color, and female veterans are the most vulnerable. 10 percent of young veterans are poor. Veterans of color are twice as likely to live in poverty as the overall veteran population (14 percent compared to 7 percent).
Female veterans are much more likely to be poor than male veterans (10.3 percent compared to 6.5 percent). Veterans who fit into two or more of these groups are even more likely to live below the poverty line. For instance, young female veterans have a higher poverty rate than either female or young veterans as a whole—almost 14 percent. These disparities are primarily due to varying forms of racial and gender discrimination and inequities.
"About 23,000 active duty personnel received SNAP benefits in 2013, the latest year for which statistics are available"
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.