WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), announced her original co-sponsorship of the Military Hunger Prevention Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support active duty military families experiencing food insecurity by creating a basic needs allowance to help military families in need put food on the table.
“No one who is willing to serve this nation should ever have to struggle to put food on the table. Sadly, that is a reality for too many military families in Nevada and across our nation,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to help introduce this important piece of bipartisan legislation, which will create a basic needs allowance to help military families in need put food on the table. While Congress works to address the unfortunate fact that some of our brave men and women in uniform would even require food assistance, this legislation will make sure that those servicemembers are properly cared for and given access to this crucial aid and support.”
BACKGROUND: When the military is unable to provide servicemembers with on-base housing, wherever they are stationed, servicemembers receive a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to pay for off-base or privatized military housing. Because of how the qualification calculations for federal food assistance programs, like SNAP, currently work, servicemembers are excluded from receiving food assistance benefits if they receive BAH. This is especially detrimental to junior enlisted troops and their families. The current flaw in federal law often forces military families to rely on food pantries and food banks for emergency food assistance. The basic needs allowance created by the Military Hunger Prevention Act would help correct this flaw.
The Military Hunger Prevention Act (S.1488) was co-led in the Senate by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and co-sponsored by Senator Rosen and 12 of her Senate colleagues, including Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). Identical bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) and Don Young (R-AK-AL).
Then-Representative Rosen co-sponsored similar legislation in 2017 when she was a member of the House Armed Services Committee.