Our Veterans Shouldn’t Go Hungry

One out of four women Veterans struggle with hunger


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Our nation’s Veterans fought for our freedom. They shouldn’t have to wonder where their next meal will come from.

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 14.3 million U.S. households did not have consistent access to food that year. Studies have shown women Veterans are more likely to struggle with hunger than male Veterans. As many as 27.6% of women Veterans suffer. To put things in perspective, in one study of women Veterans using 12 VA hospitals, one out of four women Veterans reported lacking the money or other resources to reliably feed themselves or their loved ones.

Screening Veterans for hunger

To address this issue, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) began screening Veterans for hunger in 2017. From 2017-2018, VHA has screened more than 3 million Veteran patients and either connected those in need to social workers who can help or to nutrition safety net programs.

VA can connect Veterans to programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and emergency food sites, such as food banks and pantries. Between 2015 and 2017, SNAP helped 1.4 million Veterans put food on the table.

For help, contact your local VA Medical Center to get connected to the resources you need. And if you are a woman Veteran, ask your local VA Medical Center for the Women Veterans Program Manager.

Author

Hans Petersen

Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.

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