A bipartisan bill, introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Tammy Duckworth, Lisa Murkowski and 12 other senators, aims to make it easier for servicemembers to receive SNAP benefits. As many as one in five members of the U.S. military experience food insecurity, but many are unable to get SNAP benefits because they receive housing allowances that are counted as income, which puts them over the limit for eligibility.
As the Senate debates the National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the U.S. military, anti-hunger advocates say the bill would take an important first step toward addressing the long-standing problem of food insecurity among service members. The bill would boost the pay of the lowest-earning members of the military, giving them a so-called basic needs allowance to help cover the cost of food and other necessities. (No paywall)
Federal legislation introduced this month to automatically enroll children of eligible service members into school meals programs reflects the scope of food insecurity among military families — a population that often gets overlooked in coverage of hunger and economic hardship.(No paywall)
The USDA's effort to elevate farming as a career option for veterans once they exit the military is moving into a new phase, says Military Times, as officials "unveiled ... plans to better explain and market a host of industry jobs to recently separated service members, calling it a growth area that fits nicely with the skills and training of those veterans."
The military is in the midst of a $100,000-project to grow hydroponic vegetables on submarines, says The Christian Science Monitor. So far the experiments have been on land, but researchers are hopeful that they’ll soon be able to take the technology to sea and improve the notoriously tired fare served to sailors.
The Defense Department will integrate agriculture into the career training and counseling programs offered to members of the armed services as they leave the military, the administration announced.