Photo: dirtyblueshirt (Flickr)
Food stamp use amongst military families has continued to rise for the sixth straight year since the recession began in 2008, and the reasons are varied.
Recession Ripple Effects
$103.6 million in SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps, was redeemed last year in military groceries, up almost $5 million from 2012.
Use of food stamps by military families rose 5 percent between 2012 and 2013, faster than the general population, which only rose 2 percent.
During the recession, food stamp restrictions were loosened, making more soldiers eligible for the benefits.
Income And Unemployment
Entry-level active-duty military make less than $20,000 a year, an amount that qualifies a two-person household for SNAP benefits.
Military personnel also experience financial strain because the need to relocate makes it difficult for their spouses to find work. Spouses of active duty military, ages 18-24, are facing 30 percent unemployment.
Military personnel are also offered benefits like subsidized housing, education and reduced food costs at commissaries to offset financial burdens.
Though the increase has slowed from a historic 70 percent jump between 2009 and 2010, food stamp use is still three times what it had been in 2008.