Legislative Update

MFAN Commends Senate Farm Bill for Removing Barriers to SNAP for Military Families

May 02, 2024

Statement by Shannon Razsadin, Chief Executive Officer, Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN)


ARLINGTON, VA (May 2, 2024) — This week, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act, which would protect and strengthen access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This proposal outlines a Farm Bill framework that invests in nutrition assistance and helps put food on the table for military families working hard to make ends meet.


MFAN is heartened to see that the proposal reinforces our research findings and recommendations to reduce stigma, promote help-seeking behavior, and remove barriers to food and nutrition support for the 24% of service members facing food insecurity.


Specifically, the plan suggests amending the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to remove the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) from income calculations when determining eligibility for SNAP.


A recent report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service found that the prevalence of food insecurity in the military population (25.3%) was more than two times higher than in the equivalent adult civilian population (10.1%).


SNAP is a lifeline that millions of households rely on to make rent, afford child care, or pay for unexpected expenses. According to MFAN research, 59.4% of actively serving respondents spend more than $251 beyond BAH (out-of-pocket) monthly on housing, and 69.2% experience a housing burden.


Senator Stebanow’s proposal signals support for the health and well-being of service members, veterans, and their families and complements initiatives from public, private, and nongovernmental leaders. The Department of Defense has made meaningful steps in combating food insecurity, including the Basic Needs Allowance, but low enrollment indicates confusion about the benefit. This proposal levels the playing field for military families and will remove unnecessary obstacles as military families navigate the complexities of the federal benefits system.


# # #


About MFAN
The Military Family Advisory Network envisions a world where all military-connected families are empowered to thrive. MFAN’s mission is to understand and amplify the needs of military-connected families and inspire data-informed change.