US Army recommends food stamps for soldiers struggling with inflation

The U.S. military recommends soldiers apply for SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, to help cover their rising costs due to inflation.

The US military cites higher prices on a range of products due to inflation in its recently released official guidelines.

“With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some soldiers and their families are finding it harder to manage on the budgets they established and used before,” says the guide written by Army Sergeant Major Michael A. Grinston. bed. “Soldiers of all ranks can seek advice, assistance and guidance through the Army Financial Readiness Program.”

The guidelines direct soldiers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and link them to the Federal Wellness Program website.

“SNAP is a U.S. government program that provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families through an electronic benefit transfer card that can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food at grocery stores in details allowed. Service members and their families may be eligible,” the Army guide says. “To determine qualification, visit the SNAP website or call the SNAP Information Line at 800-221-5689.”

A sign warning customers of the benefits of SNAP food stamps at a grocery store in Brooklyn in New York on Dec. 5, 2019. (Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Food insecurity for troops is not a new problem, but the recent spike in inflation has put the military in an even more difficult situation.

“According to the Pentagon’s own data, 24% of enlisted personnel are food insecure,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. “While food stamps are a band-aid, they are also an admission that the base salary of enlisted soldiers and their families is too low, further exacerbated by unyielding inflation that drives paychecks further down.”

Federal inflation data released in August shows food prices rising at the fastest rate since the 1970s.

“The food index rose 10.9% over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending in May 1979,” the BLS said. “The home food index rose 13.1% over the past 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979,” the BLS said. “The other food at home index was up 15.8% and the cereals and bakery products index was up 15.0% on the year. increases ranging from 9.3% (fruits and vegetables) to 14.9% (dairy and related products).

Eaglen said the answer is to raise salaries and be more realistic about how inflation affects service members.

“A better solution is to drop the rosy inflation assumptions, raise base pay, and demand a line of defense above inflation every year so forces and families have predictability and stability,” he said. she declared.

By Casey Harper

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