On September 18, 2013 Rep. William Enyart of Illinois asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for 5 minutes regarding an important issue dealing with veterans in America.
“Mr Speaker according to the Census Bureau, about 7 percent of people who report prior military service also report receiving SNAP benefits. Census data indicates that some 1.5 million households with a veteran are receiving SNAP benefits.”
“The base pay of most recent enlistees, from corporals on down, is at or below the $23,050 poverty rate for a family of four. At military commissaries nationwide, nearly $88 million in SNAP benefits were redeemed. Stars and Stripes reported that in 2011, food stamp purchases at military commissaries tripled during the preceding 4 years. Just last month, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that approximately 900,000 veterans currently receive food aid and that proposed cuts would impact around 170,000”, he said.
“According to The Hill newspaper, more than $98 million in SNAP benefits were redeemed by veterans in 2012. The Huffington Post reports that in 2011, “both Active Duty members and retirees, together, used more than $100 million in Federal food aid in the past year.Sixteen percent of SNAP recipients are disabled, many of them are veterans. SNAP benefits are already scheduled to go down. On November 1, families of three will lose $29 a month. Now, that doesn’t sound like very much, but the daily per person per meal benefit will be less than $1.40., said Rep. Enyart (source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/).
Rep. Enyart serves on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.