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tv   Advocates Testify on Hunger Issues Among Military Members  CSPAN  November 15, 2021 9:51am-11:34am EST

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by these companies and more, including charter communication. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> now advocates testifying on hunger among the military service members. a house agriculture subcommittee heard that many lower ranking military personnel often do not earn enough to feed themselves and their families, and topics include a basics needs allowance, military spouse employment, child care and transition services. this is an hour and 40 minutes. >> this hearing of the
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subcommittee on nutrition oversight and department operations entitled hunger amongst veterans and service members, understanding the problem and evaluating solutions will come to order. welcome, and thank you to everyone for joining this hearing today. after brief opening remarks, members will receive testimony from our witnesses today and then the hearing will be open to questions. members will be recognized in order of seniority alternating between majority and minority members and in order of arrival for those members who have joined us after the hearing was called to order. when you are recognized you'll be asked to unmute your microphone and have five minutes to ask your question or comment. if you're not speaking, i ask that you remain muted in order to inm mies background noise, in order to get as many questions as possible, the timer will stay visible on your
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screen. in consultation with the ranking member, and pursuant to rule 11-e i want to make members of the subcommittee to be aware that other members of the full committee may join us today. i'll now begin with my opening statement. thank you all for joining me today for this very important hearing which will help our subcommittee better understand the food security challenges that our nations veterans and service members face. this conversation is especially significant given that tomorrow we observe veterans day, a day for us to honor those who serve and are willing to protect our nation. i hope this hearing helps to highlight the reality that too many veterans face when their service has ended. food insecurity is disturbingly rampant among our veteran population, on average, about 1.2 million households with veterans participate each year.
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tragically, studies estimate that a substantial portion of eligible veterans as high as 60%, do not participate in the program. food insecurity, particularly impacts veterans who have recently left service, had lower final pay grades or live in rural areas that have limited access to foods. their hunger can also be exacerbated by mental and physical health challenges, including service related disabilities. it is unacceptable that in america today, we cannot ensure that veterans do not struggle with food insecurity after the completion of their services. this problem does not spare our active duty service members either working every day to serve this country, it's the same challenge with food insecurity. accord to go usda, 22,000 snap household included service members in 2019. and it's likely that that
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number is only the tip of the iceberg, as many military families face barriers to accessing snap. service members and veterans who face different barriers in situations-- i'm sorry, service members and veterans face different barriers and situations that can cause or worsen food insecurity. some of these barriers are common amongst food insecure americans while others are unique and may require targeted solutions. no person should ever go hungry in america. however, it is especially galling to see those who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation struggle to put food on the table. today is not a hearing to review or investigate any particular bill or piece of legislation, but rather, we will gather information from the witnesses and in our efforts to search for solutions to ensure that no veteran or service member feels the sting of hunger. i would like to take this
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opportunity to thank all of our veterans and service members. please let me extend a heart felt thank you and the gratitude of myself and i'm sure every member of the subcommittee today and every day for all you have done. we look forward to hearing from each of you, and are committed to working to address the system for an issue. i'd now like to welcome the distinguished ranking member, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. bacon for any opening remarks that he would like to give. >> thank you, madam chair, i'll keep my comments fairly short. i echo your comments about veterans day, a take on our veterans who are listening and i myself, one of 6% of our population and we appreciate that. and representing one. madam chair's comments, i'm concerned that we have veterans come out and have a hard time
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making ends meet. i think we should be trying everything we can to help transition these folks with trades, you know, the various-- such a shortage of trade programs right now, whether it's truck drivers, welders, carpenters, there's opportunities to put our veterans into these great paying jobs and so, i'd support a lot of programs that help with making that connection, when it comes to our servicemen and women who may be needing snap. i would like to hear from the military itself is this really a problem? we could have gotten one of our chief master sergeants of the air force or equivalent in the army or navy and hear from them. e-1's, e-2's, e3's in this area and from the personnel the a-1's or the j-1 for the joint staff, just to give us the ground level truth of what the military is seeing here because this is a more rampant problem, then the military needs to
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address it and we can adjust pay levels to make this right. and a discussion, but this is an area where the personnel subcommittee probably needs to be boring into to get the solutions in the military to solve. so with that, i'll yield back and look forward to hearing what the -- our panels are saying. by the way i did try to invite someone from dod here and they did not take the invite, but i think it's important to get their perspective on this. so with that i'll yield back and thank you, madam chair, for the opportunity. >> thank you. thank you ranking member. and we will continue to look for solutions to get the information that you're seeking. i do believe that dod has a policy that they don't testify on mixed panels so we'll collect information from this group and see what we can do
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moving forward. i now am not sure if the chair or the ranking member are here and would like to offer any opening statements. i don't see either mr. chairman or mr. compton so i'll move on. the chair ordered opening statements for the record and witnesses can begin their testimony to ensure that there's ample time for questions. and at anytime the chair can call the committee into recess subject to the call of the chair. and now i'll introduce the witnesses, i'm pleased to welcome such a distinguished panel of witnesses to our hearing today. our witnesses bring to our hearing a wide variety of experience and expertise and i thank you all for joining us. our first witness today is miss mia hubbard, who is the vice-president of programs for a jewish response to hunger, she provides leadership for
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mazen's advocacy and strategic program efforts and has been with the organization since 1993. our next witness is miss denise the chief community and program officer for blue star families, a nonprofit that serves military families. ... programs, programs design and delivery, evaluation and more. she received her air force commission from cornell university and proudly served for 20 years. our third witness is a nurse a nurse practitioner and neuroscientist who has published several peer-reviewed studies on food insecurity affecting veterans. she is employed either better health administration and holds a faculty appointment at baylor college of medicine but is test
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on today as a private citizen. i hope i said your name right. our final witness today is mr. tim keefe. he is a a veteran who served n the united states navy. after being injured at work and completing all measures included in the worker's compensation process, mr. keefe found himself unable to return to work and fell on hardd times. snap has served as a lifeline for him as it does for many other veterans in similar situations. welcome to all of our witnesses. we will now proceed to hear your testimony. you will each have five minutes. the timer should be visible on your screen and will count down to zero at which point your time hass expired. ms. hubbard, , please begin when you are ready. >> well, thank you, chairwoman hayes, ranking member bacon, and the distinguished members of the subcommittee. i appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today
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representing the jewish response to hunger. let the step backward just a moment and reflect on how it is we even need to discuss this problem. there is simply no reast military families and veterans should experience the painful reality of hunger. as i will share with you, there are several straightforward actions that congress, the administration and federal agencies can take to address this preventable problem. mazon's work is grounded in jewish value and to respect the inherent dignity of every person. we are guided by a central believe, regardless of a person's circumstance, no one deserves to go hungry. we have made it a priority to spotlight issues and populations where the government has yet to determine focus. we have diligently led the efforts to address military and veteran food insecurity.
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in 2012, when we first became aware of the alarming number of military families struggling with food insecurity, we made it a priority to understand the issue and implore policy solutions. we thought it would be a quick fix, but here we are nearly a decade later facing a crisis. time and again, my colleagues and i have been criticized, reminisced, ignored for raising this issue both by policy makers and some in the community. we recognize this is an issue somewhat hidden, which is understanding because struggling military and veteran families do not want to call attention to their situation. it is a crisis nonetheless and we call on you to immediately advance policy solutions. your leadership and that of the administration and agency officials is urgency that urgently needed. -- urgently needed. military and veteran families have been allowed to go hungry on your watch enter growers over
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the course of the pandemic, which has contributed to the worsening of diet related procedures, loss in productivity and even spikes in suicide rates. while this hearing and my destiny -- my testimony will cover both serving and veteran military families, these are two different populations. my proposals are twofold. for military families, congress and the administration must prioritize the inclusion of a full military family basic needs allowance in the 2022 national defense authorization act. in 2019, following years of responding to objection about military families access to snap, my colleague devised and created this proposal to address those objections. it has worked. the proposal now husband broad bipartisan support in both the
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house and senate as well as hunger organizations across the country. in addition, the administration must take executive action to ensure service members e-cig allowance for housing does not count as income in determining eligibility. congress should publish comprehensive data and recognize the composition and needs a vanilla -- of america's military has changed over time and pay and benefits has not responded. for veterans, congress must protect and improve snap and encourage a way to connect veterans to these programs. we should integrate information
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about federal food programs into the transition assistance program and the new solid start veteran suicide prevention program. finally, we should listen to the voices of veteran and military families. real stories from people like our witness, who we will hear from today, are essential to understanding the needs and barriers so we can craft the right solution. this is a matter of mission readiness, future recruitment, and as policymakers, your role is essential and urgent. we welcome the opportunity to work with you on advancing these recommendations, and i look forward to your questions. thank you. chair hayes: thank you. and right under five minutes. the job. -- good job. i now recognize ms. hollywood. ms. hollywood: my name is denise
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hollywood. i work with blue star families. we are nationally recognized for our annual lifestyle survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind covering a wide variety of topics that impact military and veteran families. today, i'm here to share with you whatever surveys have revealed. in 2020, 14% of enlisted active-duty family respondents and 12% of veteran family respondents reported low or very low food security. while a greater proportion of junior enlisted family respondents indicated they were food insecure, this issue was not limited to the junior enlisted ranks. that military families of color -- our data also suggest that military families of color are struggling more compared to their white peers. it is worth emphasizing that in
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the military community, food insecurity is an issue that primarily affects families rather than single unattached service members. we know from our research that several intersecting structural challenges contributes to military families financial stress including military spouse unemployment, the lack of affordable childcare and high out-of-pocket expenses. each of these factors and others can undermine a military family's financial readiness and contribute to food insecurity. military spouses face significant barriers to employment. the unemployment rate was nearly seven times greater than the national unemployment rate pre-pandemic and has not decreased significantly since 2012. the lack of affordable childcare continues to be a major contributor to military spouse unemployment with 34% of military spouses who are unemployed but needed or wanted to work citing the high cost of childcare as a barrier.
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military family financial stress is further complicated by out-of-pocket housing expenses. today, the basic housing alliance -- basic allowance for housing is tagged to 95% of local area rent. the families that prioritize their children's school often end up paying significantly more out-of-pocket than dod's cost share estimates. additionally, our data shows that barriers both bureaucratic and psychological exist that prevent military families from accessing federal nutrition assistance programs. financial stress and the stigma surrounding needing support does not end when a family leaves the military. and military family's financial difficulties can be compounded by transition related challenges. thereby leading to veteran food insecurity, creating positions for active-duty family financial resistance and he stigmatizes the need for assistance will therefore help prevent veteran hunger downstream.
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the need is great. between may 2020 and october 2021, blue star families hosted 50 food security related events including drive-thru food distributions, grocery stores, gift card distributions, sustainable gardening events and holiday meals for families in need. we help to increase immediate food security for over 7000 military and veteran families through these programs. we must work to address the underlying factors that contribute to food insecurity among military families. these issues are persistent and will take time to resolve. we encourage you to amend title 37 of the united states coded to exclude the basic allowance for housing from being counted as income when calculating eligibility for the snap program and other federal assistance benefits. including the availability of snap eligibility's -- the
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allowance is a nontaxable portion that allows for equitable housing compensation. addressing this barrier, which many military families face, what help those struggling to make ends meet during this unprecedented pandemic and would boost the financial resilience of those military families. i would like to thank again the distinguished members of the subcommittee for their efforts to eliminate military and veteran hunger, those who make significant sacrifices for our family should never struggle to put food on the table for their families. chair hayes: thank you for your testimony. i now recognize the doctor. >> good afternoon. thank you for allowing me to share my work with you. as a nurse practitioner and researcher, i recognize food
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insecurity or the lack of healthy food as a threat to veterans who serve our nation. nearly all veterans in my survey asked what i would do with the information. this opportunity allows me to directly communicate what i learned from them with those that have the power to make change. before i begin, i would like to clarify that although i am employed by the veterans health and ministration and have a faculty appointment at baylor college of medicine, today, i am presenting to you as a private citizen. the views expressed are mine and do not necessarily express the policy of baylor college. using data from the national health and nutrition examination survey, i have learned veterans that are food insecure are almost three times more likely to suffer from very low food security compared to nonveterans who shared similar socioeconomic characteristics. my team and i also found that veterans dealing with insecurity
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have greater odds for suicide. i listen to veterans who experience food insecurity and will share some of what i learned. any names i use arson -- are pseudonyms. ed is a 39-year-old veteran who reminded me not everyone is just food insecure. nearly all struggle with other basic needs. they are making hard decisions on how to spend their next $20. sheila is a 34 single mother of three. how much i'm spending on gas affects how much i have over for food. i asked her if she ever skipped a meal. she looked at me and said i skipped out on meals plenty of times plenty of days. too many veterans ration their food intake to make sure their children and others in their family do not go hungry.
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haley, a single mother of three has tried to increase supply. she applied for snap four times but never qualified. she said, i have been burned so many times, i don't tried anymore. for many veterans like sarah, a 33-year-old veteran, finding help was a matter of luck. years ago, when she was homeless and pregnant, her life was graciously saved. after asking if she needed help, another veteran connected her to more resources at a veteran center. this was a major turning point in her life, but what has happened to sarah and her federal -- what would have happened if sarah and her fellow veteran were not the same bus that they -- that day? this model consists of three
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levels of prevention, primary, focused on preventing the problem in the first place, secondary, identifying the problem as early as possible in tertiary, reducing the damage and preventing the problem from getting worse. most efforts focus on tertiary with food distributions in the usda food assistance program. the most effective but also the most complex solutions to address the root cause -- are to address the root cause. veterans have describe the initial six to 12 months since separation of activity as being high risk of food insecurity. this is also a time when they run out of money, may still be looking for a job and may not have yet received care for health related issues.
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another proactive approach is to leverage programs to facilitate registration into the veterans health administration so they have access to health care and support like social work. this is also a prime opportunity to encourage transitioning members to apply for snap. moving forward, i encourage all who strive to encourage food security to balance the need to address immediate food shortages with contribute in factors. once again, i thank the subcommittee and i wish all veterans on the committee and abroad a happy veterans day. chair hayes: i don't think i was unmuted. thank you for your testimony. i now recognize our final witness, mr. keith.
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mr. keith: good morning or afternoon. now, i am confused with all of the zoom stuff. chairwoman hayes, ranking member bank in -- bacon and distinguished members. i have worked since i was 11 years old. i never had to worry about being hungry. i just work and i would eat. it was not until i could not work that i experienced real hunger. i suffered an injury at work. after two years of surgeries and physical therapy, occupational therapy, it was another two years before i could get even -- the department had been medically unable to work. with no income or address as by
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that time, i became homeless, i applied for this not benefits and received 190 four dollars worth of food. this is crucial. however, because of work restrictions, i was cut off after three months. i brought all of my paperwork to snap and the decoration by the department of labor that i was medically unable to work. i was told this did not qualify me for disabled status in which the work restriction would be weighed. i show my doctors paperwork, which basically cleared me from work although the department of labor was not reading it that way. this is to no avail. i have been asked for the paperwork to satisfy restrictions that way. the skinner told me he did not feel comfortable putting into a volunteer situation with my injury. i asked, what do ie?
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-- i.e.? --i eat? he said there was an appeals process. i said what do ie until then -- i eat until then? he finally looked back and said there was nothing he could do for me. in the year that followed, i appeal to the department of labor for a change in status but lost all of that. i had to add several holes to the belt i was wearing to keep my pants up. my conditions evolved to that of a caveman. that is all i could think of. nothing better than that. foraging took up a lot of my time. once a month, i would hitchhike 25 months in either direction,
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which was fortunate, i could visit the food pantries. i was able to fill a backpack with enough food to give me a meal a day for two weeks if i stretched it. still, there were more days where i -- that i care to remember where there was nothing to eat. the food bank offered supplemental food once a month. they had been eating one meal a day. the food bank has limited resources. i'm truly grateful for the food, but i know i still lack nutrition and calories. snap, in my case, would have gone a long way to bolster my health during this time. as i continued to wade through a seemingly endless appeals process, -- unfortunately, i can tell you firsthand that when you live on a couple of days without food, your whole being cries out for declaration you can't explain.
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you can't sleep, you can't do anything but think about trying to get food. i could hitchhike down to the supermarket and felt a backpack. if i got caught, i would go to jail and i would eat. if i got away, i could have the food and eat. i was able to resist this urge. it is a desperation i would not wish on my worst enemy. a little more than year later, i heard -- i turned 50 and immediately applied. received that benefits that a much to about $6.45 a day. but it didn't take long for my health and energy to increase. i started gaining the weight back area the return of snap benefits meant that i could concentrate on improving other areas of my life, and a year later i was working again.
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i would like to also raise awareness for the veterans who are not disabled, but are returning to society with the unique experience of having to adjust from a combat zone to everyday life. surely we can feed them. when i was in the navy, i was ready and willing to give my life for this country. it seemed like during this time, i couldn't even get a sandwich from them. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. at this time, members will be recognized for questions in order of seniority, alternating between majority and minority members. you will be recognized for five minutes each in order to allow us to get to as many questions as possible.
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please keep your microphones muted until you are recognized in order to minimize background noise. i now recognize myself for five minutes of questioning. first of all, thank you for your service, and for your powerful testimony. you are exactly what numbers of this committee, your testimony is exact a what members of this committee need to hear as we search for a solution. i understand that after you turn 50, you are able to abscess -- to access snap benefits since the time limit phaseout at that age. based on your experience, do you believe that the snap work requirement incentivizes work, or do you think they have unintended consequences specifically for veterans?
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>> definitely unintended consequences. i feel like there was this catch-22 that just opened up and swallowed me up. so definitely that. the work restrictions, -- >> thank you. you mentioned in your testimony the sense of desolation that veterans feel. how can we address food insecurity among veterans living on the poverty line? for example, raising the asset lets, would that be hopeful in this situation? >> i do believe that one of the reasons why many of the veterans who told me they applied for
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snap was because their disability counted as income, so if a disability could be removed as an income qualifier, perhaps that would up and the opportunity for more of them to get snap benefits. sorry, can you repeat the first question you had? >> yes, i said how do we better address hunger and food insecurity among veterans living on the poverty line? >> i think having those safety nets available to them, having access to those safety nets is critical. that addresses the immediate need they have. but then also, we need to consider childcare, transportation, housing, because they are also interrelated, but we only focus on food and we expect those other important critical needs, we are only addressing part of the problems
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they are facing. >> do using we need to make specific changes for our veterans and service members? as you mentioned, it is a different population. >> they have their own unique culture, and i do believe that the way we approach them to help them needs to be unique to their culture. most veterans i've met don't want to feel what they are getting a handout. but if they can understand that this is assistance that they have earned, that they deserve, and it is presented to them respectively and honorably, those are the terms we need to make sure they are receiving the care with. >> studies have shown that food insecurity is associated with increased of negative mental and physical health outcomes, including depression, hypertension, diabetes, and oral health problems. these outcomes seem particularly problematic for service members, whose jobs often depend on
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staying physically and mentally fit. do you believe that food insecurity harms our military readiness and recruitment and retention efforts? >> our resources don't have a specific statistic on that, but just as a veteran who served for 20 years in the air force, anything that impacts our military readiness is an important problem we need to attack. >> thank you. i think it is critical to note that this is a population that has higher instances of disability, so we really need to, and my opinion, think about the way that disabilities are counted towards benefits and most of these cases. thank you all for your thoughtful answers to that. i yield back, and i now recognize the distinguished ranking member for his questions. you can unmute. >> thank you, madam chair. thanks for all the testimony
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today. did you say that they would not allow you to have disability? did i understand correct? were you were not offered disability recognition? >> of course, i went to the fed and had them examine me for federal disability, and they said no, i was fine. my doctor said my condition would improve. i had torn cartilage in my hand, which i see people working with one hand, and i didn't understand what was happening. >> thank you, sir. ms. hubbard, one of the command chiefs of one of the services i visited recently, and he told me that the pay has not been reviewed in decades, so what we have seen is, like every year you get a cost-of-living increase, but when you do a 3%
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raise at a lower pay versus the higher grades, a disparity keeps getting bigger. would you not think that maybe this is a more effective way of trying to address food insecurity for junior enlisted, is reviewing the pay? >> yes, i agree that military pay levels need to be looked at, and i think that is an issue, a solution that is working really far upstream on this issue, which is where we all need to focus as far upstream on these issues as we can. it is a big lift, and i think in the meantime, some of the other proposals and solutions that are being put forth that we will discuss today i think can help these families to be able to put food on the table, but i agree. i think we have so many more enlisted members who are supporting families and need additional support, so we really
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do need to look at how the composition of our military has changed over time and make sure that our pay and benefits are supporting them adequately. rep. bacon: thank you. i appreciate that feedback. i'm hearing feedback from our senior enlisted leaders in the military that it is time that the subcommittee may took a look at this. i heard that last week from some of them. ms. hollywood, i know we have worked hard on extending tours of our enlisted so that spouses could get employment more easily, so they don't lose their jobs. we are also working on licensing laws so that if you are licensed in virginia, you can work in illinois, and so forth. using a positive impact of some of these adjustment's we are making on families for spouse
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income? >> the needle is moving, but not moving nearly fast enough, and the primary reason why it is not his the childcare issue. licensing is great, but if we don't fix the childcare issue, we are never going to move the needle on military spouse on and blame it. rep. bacon: most bases offer childcare, see you are saying it is above the capacity of each base? >> in my active-duty life, there was never enough capacity, coupled with the cost. childcare installations on military bases are subsidized, but there are increased costs, so that has prevented the needle removing likely would like to see it.
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rep. bacon: i would be curious to get from the military subcommittee if it's capacity has gone down or up. i did 30 years in the air force. at one base, we had two childcares they are, so it may be hidden mr. bennet on the base , but the bases i have been on have tried to provide capacity because it is a concern for a lot of families. you mentioned you didn't think we should count housing or the food allowances towards pay, but for some, that is up to $1500. but you don't think they should count that towards determining income, so i'm hearing? >> i think we need parity with their civilian counterparts. this is not taxable income. it is not taxable, the housing allowance. so it almost feels like having
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it be part of what is eligible or not eligible is a disservice, and it is not on par with what our civilian counterparts would have. rep. bacon: do civilian counterparts get housing allowance? >> no, their salaries would be reflective of those different allowances. rep. bacon: i guess that is a debatable point, but i appreciate your perspective. we are running out of time, so thank you. >> i was going to let you go, representative bacon. thank you again for your service. 30 years is quite impressive. and ms. hollywood, do your point, highlighting the childcare issue, that is part of the president's build back better agenda, to offer universal pre-care and a 7% cap for childcare costs because we have heard this over and over from different communities. i now recognize the gentleman
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from massachusetts. you have five minutes for your questions. >> thank you come about in chair. look, this is not a new issue. families have been talking about this for years. the bottom line is that the powers that be have not done anything about it. the pentagon has known this for years, and yet they have not come up to the hill and asked that we not count the housing allowance toward total income so that those people who are struggling could actually get snap. they have not done that. they have not been up here shaking the trees for better compensation for our enlisted servicemen and women. that has to change. we know there is a problem here. for anyone to imply there is not a problem is ignoring reality.
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and by the way, it is not just amongst active-duty service members. it is amongst our veterans. mr. keefe, i want to thank you for your service to our country and for sharing your story today. i first learned about you through a washington post article might would you talked about what you went through, and i think all too often, the voices of people with lived experiences are left out of policymaking, and i hope that my colleagues on this committee who have advocated for harsher time limits and work requirements are listening to your testimony because in real life, things don't fall into nice categories. there's a lot of gray area. and that is where your situation is. and by the way, the average time that somebody is on snap anyway is less than a year. but in your case, you have clearly laid out how cruel these
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requirements are. they do not make sense. and how complicated the lives of people living and struggling in poverty are. so i want to ask you, what kind of things what has helped you make ends meet after you lost your job? what can congress do to better help people who fall into your situation, and addition to not having these harsh, cruel time limits and work requirements? how could the system have been more helpful to you? >> to start with, a complete audit of the workmen's comp. system would probably reveal -- workmen's comp. system would probably reveal a couple of things. the federal decision did not affect the part and of labor's decision. these agencies are at odds with each other in dealing with me at
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the time, and it was creating quite a vortex that i was falling into. the paperwork on the appeals is ridiculous. what would have helped me? as the doctor said, stopping the bleeding. if i could have gone to the military medical center and gotten something, maybe a box of food or something, that would have been great. this is an effective program. these people give you food. you walk out of the building with food. there is no red tape in between. there's no anything. they give you food. rep. mcgovern: clearly, if there had been no arbitrary time limit on your snap benefit, that would
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have helped, right? >> right. rep. mcgovern: again, real life is complicated. it does not fit into nice soundbites. and i really appreciate your testimony. i know i am running out of time, but i want to thank my friends for their attention to this issue. they have for a long time spoken about the seriousness of the hunger problem amongst our active-duty servicemen and women , but also amongst our veterans. people who put their lives on the line for our country, people who served our country, are in this situation where they don't know where their next meal is going to come from. all of us should be ashamed. and this is not a new revelation. we have been hearing about this for a long time. the question is whether or not we are going to do anything about it, or where the rio going to raise questions as to whether this is all real. it is real, and i think we have heard from mr. keefe, there are
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lots of other people who talk to our friends at blue star families as well. they have documented case after case after case. we know there are solutions here. we have to act. we have to do something. i know i am out of time, but i want to thank you all for your testimony. this is really helpful, and as we approach veterans day, let's all resolve that by next year, we are going to have done something so that we don't have to hear these stories, and we had actually helped make peoples lives better. i yield back. rep. hayes: thank you. i now recognize the gentleman from tennessee, where it is 70 degrees today. >> thank you you. i appreciate it, chairwoman. thank you to our witnesses for appearing today. clearly this is an important topic, and it almost seems as if we should have the v.a. committee and task committee included today to discuss this
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because they are all intertwined , and we don't want to see anyone in the country go hungry, but we certainly owe a debt of gratitude to our service members and our military veterans who have put their lives on the line for us, we want this not to be one of their problems. but i would like to note that the house armed services past the fiscal year 2021 and 2022 defense authorization act. the dod asked for an extension on two occasions to address the reports of hunger within the military, and now the report is due on march 31, 2022, so i think we should all encourage the department to publish this information so we can get an accurate grasp on the situation and see what committees and
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jurisdictions should get involved here. i think probably v.a. and possibly ag. it is interesting that in the farm conference report, we did attempt to address this. the chairman suggested that the v.a.h. not be included, and it led to that provision being dropped from the farm bill, so i do take a little issue with you saying that nobody cares and nobody is trying to do anything. that maybe wasn't enough, but it was something, and i am not sure why that olive branch was rejected. so i guess i would just close with thanking all of our veterans and military personnel. we certainly want to solve this problem, and i am committed to working with those other committees to find a way to alleviate this problem, and wish
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everyone a happy veterans day, and i yield back. rep. hayes: thank you. i now recognize the gentlelady from north carolina, representative adams. you have five minutes for questions. rep. adams: thank you, chairwoman hayes and ranking number bacon, for hosting this today, and thank you to our witnesses for your testimony, and to our two veterans who are speaking today who are witnesses. thank you so much, ms. hollywood and mr. keefe, for your service. it is disheartening to know that so many of our veterans and our military families don't know when their next meal will be. no one in this great country, especially the men women who wear the uniform and serve, should ever go hungry. we must address long-standing barriers to veteran and military family per to the patient and
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snap with innovative and proactive solutions, which is why earlier this year, i introduced the closing the meal gap, a bill that would eliminate eligibility time limits and unrealistic barriers for snap. provisions like these are crucial and would prevent recipients from losing their benefits when they are not able to meet work requirements. for example, we heard today of mr. keefe's testimony that creating a food barrier is not help anyone secure employment. so thank you again for your service and for sharing your story. can you provide an estimate of how long after you became food insecure that you first applied to snap for benefits? >> well, it wasn't until after the workmen's comp. had run out,
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so two years after my injuries. so that day they gave me three months' worth, which was the stipulation, and then cut me off. rep. adams: were you screened for food insecurity, for a health care's of phi -- insecurity at the health care facility? >> well, they ask. they ask if you have food, but that was about it. really, there was only the food pantry. they were the only ones. rep. adams: right. i think you have already indicated what you think congress can do to make sure that the veterans experiences that are not the same kinds of
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hardships you experienced, so thank you for sharing that. ms. hollywood, as we all know -- again, thank you for your service as well -- the basic allowance for housing is currently considered income in determining servicemembers' ability to apply for snap. >> i don't know the answer to that, but a do know that that is definitely a barrier, that having the vah be a part of military income is a barrier for families, as is the fact that it is only pegged at 95% of the local area's rent. so that 5% is another barrier for families. rep. adams: ms. hubbard, can you respond to this question? >> yes, i think from where we sit, it is simply an oversight.
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the bah is not listed among many provisions included in the snap program. it has already been mentioned, it is not counted or considered income for federal income tax purposes and for most federal assistance programs. it is not treated as income. and so it really seems to be an oversight. it may have been unintended, but it is precipitous. rep. adams: soap dock -- so doctor, you mentioned that it needs to begin prior to separation from active duty, so can you elaborate on what efforts we should be focusing on and how congress can help in this regard? >> as i said in my statement, my
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suggestion is that as transitioning service members are going through the tax courses, if there is a way they can be signed up for health care through the veterans health at adminstration, that would at least connect with health care so that there is not a gap there. once they are in the system, they would have access to other support systems like social work and case workers who can hopefully prevent the need from arising. rep. adams: thank you so much. i yield back. rep. hayes: thank you, representative adams. i now recognize the gentleman from indiana. if you can unmute, you have five minutes for questioning. >> thank you, madam chair, and ranking member bacon. i really appreciate the sharing today. what i really want to start off -- but i really want to start off just by express my appreciation to all of our
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nation's veterans, and for all of those that have worn the uniform of the united states armed forces. i want to thank mr. keefe for his testimony. my question really deals with the concern i have about hunger in any demographic, but especially concerned about, and it has been expressed here already today, about veterans and active-duty personnel. i am concerned that i don't feel we have the kind of data that we need to make the analysis, and we don't have, i don't know that we have an overall feeling of engagement. so my question is to any member that would like to address this. the organizations that you represent, have you conducted
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research and come up with various conclusions on this topic? and then i want to know how you have shared that with dod or the v.a. or the house armed services committee. so anyone of you that would like to start is welcome. >> i am happy to chime in. thank you, first, for your service, representative, and for the question. it is an important one, this issue of the lack of data around these issues. obviously, we don't have enough data, and the federal government has not collected enough data, and there are definitely some gaps that need to be filled. thankfully, we have colleagues in the field who have conducted studies and tried to give us information that we can use to make that better public policy. the federal government really
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has the capacity, the reach to document this issue, and needs to be held accountable to do it. and it is that lack of recognition that is really a problem, and it is simply on except it will that we don't have the data. i guess i would say not only does the government need to be held accountable, but it is also not an excuse for inaction. hungry families that can't wait for data, they can't eat an under -- it another hunger study. so while we need to continue to push for the numbers, we also have to act. we can't wait any longer. >> i am presenting today as a private citizen, so i really can't speak about any data that is in the v.a. or elsewhere. i will say we have been able to use
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surveillance surveys, lengthy the population survey --like the population survey, but it would be nice to have additional data. rep. baird: ms. hollywood? >> we have been conducting the annual military lifestyle survey for 10 years now. we have data that would help us get the ball moving forward in the right direction, along with the data from the u.s. army public health center that was conducted recently among 11,000. i think there is some data that the baseline -- data analysis that is -- would always be welcome, but i think there is enough data to help move the needle in the right direction. rep. baird: thank you. dr. kamdar, i've got it looks like 58 seconds left, and so my question to you is -- i really appreciated you recognizing that veterans really are a unique culture in and of themselves.
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there is a bond there, and that as you approach them you have to make sure you approach them appropriately. i just thought i might ask you exactly how you think we ought to address homelessness, hunger, unemployment for veterans. you have 26 seconds, not to put pressure on you. >> i don't have an eloquent answer in the 15 seconds i have left, but i will say that veterans depend on other veterans. some solutions -- i think veterans are the best people to go to to ask how can we help you. that is the approach i take in my research. i don't have the solutions. i turned to the veterans to ask them, how can i help you, how can we help you. rep. baird: nice job. you did it within time. with that, i yield back, madam chair. rep. hayes: thank you, representative baird.
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i recognize the gentleman from illinois, representative rush. you have a five minutes for your questions. please unmute and begin. rep. brush: thank- -- rep. rush: thank you, madam chair, for convening this particularly important hearing this morning. i join this conversation as a veteran of our armed services, and also as a pastor of a local church that takes seriously the charge to feed the hungry and provide services for our needy citizens. as a pastor of a church, as a congressman, and also as a
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vietnam-era veteran, these roles have informed my perspective on the points of addressing food insecurity, and also for our active service members. madam chair, let me make sure that i am clear on this -- our veterans are one of our nation's most appreciated and most valuable assets. again, appreciated and it should be eagerly anticipated in regards to our nations future.
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that said, dr. kamdar, i agree that a three-tiered approach is critical to stop and to treat the damage caused by food insecurity. i agree with ms. hollywood's call to not allow the federal government to abdicate its responsibility to the charitable sector. i firmly believe there is a role for religious organizations in this vital work. churches, community organizations, and they work with their communities on a day-to-day basis. they are able to marshal through
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and intervene to provide assistance to veterans that we are concerned about, if they are given proper support by the federal government. my question, dr. kamdar and ms. hubbard, what is the current role of churches in providing primary secondary services for fruited security, and how can the-- food insecurity, and how can the federal government empower them to play a more effective role? >> i can address how churches can play a role as secondary and tertiary prevention. most of the veterans that i've encountered, when they are in need, they go to the community for assistance, and churches are one of those safe spaces that can ask their congregation, including those who are
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veterans, if they need assistance, if they are short on food. screening would be one of them. and then the tertiary prevention , as you stated, churches are there to help, and they could be the source of immediate needs, the ones that helped tim stay alive, for all practical purposes. they can be a source of immediate relief, but they can also be a source that can connect veterans to other resources that they need to adjust the upstream barriers they may be facing. if there is a support mechanism that can help them address the questions they have and be a source of support, not just providing food, but to help them be advocates. rep. rush: madame chair, i yield back the balance of my time.
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madame chair, i yield back the balance of my time. rep. hayes: i'm sorry. i recognize the gentlelady louisiana. >> thank you, chairwoman hayes. as we share our utmost appreciation to the men and women who graciously stepped up to the line of duty to fight for the freedom we all share here at home, i would like to extend a special thank-you to the veterans testifying before us today and all the service members and veterans for their service to our great country. given the sacrifices of our servicemen and women, i believe it is only right that we in congress ensure that the military and veteran families have the resources and care they need to prosper. however, for the purpose of this hearing, i echo the sentiments that my republican colleagues have shared before me. some of the topics discussed today are the direct jurisdiction of the house armed services committee and matters
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pertaining to the department of defense. while the agriculture committee has oversight of the was department of agriculture's supplemental nutrition program, the jurisdiction and the dod -- the committees with jurisdiction and dod need to be at the table for findings as it relates to the financial stability of active-duty members and those transitioning out of service. ms. hollywood, and your written testimony you highlighted the various military spouses face on considering gainful employment and how it contributes to financial stress. can you comment on what blue star family is undertaken specifically for unemployed spouses? >> yes, thank you. one of the things that we really tried to do with blue star families is partnered with other organizations to share resources. we are a hub of resources for military spouses to help them find not only resources on the training side to get the needed
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training they may need -- maybe they were living in a state and moved to another state and couldn't find a similar employment -- not only do we find those additional resources, we provide mentorship opportunities come and we connect with industry partners who are looking to increase the pipeline of military spouses. the more we can educate industry on the ongoing problems with military spouse unemployment, the more we can get industry to employ military spouses and learn about their unique situation. rep. letlow: thank you. that is encouraging to hear. i have a follow-up question as it relates to veterans. does blue star families provide services for individuals transitioning out of the service to help them find post-active-duty employment or navigate other programs offered? how would you measure the success of these programs? >> yes can we do provide those programs. they are open to active-duty and veteran families.
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any transitioning veteran who would like to take part in any of our programs, we measure success of our program through an annual impact survey, and we also do program evaluations after each particular program that we do. i say we have had some good success moving the needle and trying to get military spouses employed. i think our current military spouses looking for training is 10,000 people. getting people in the door the debt resources is a measure of success. rep. letlow: thank you so much, ms. hollywood. i yield back. rep. hayes: thank you, representative letlow. i will just add that while hunger is a complex issue and there are multiple committees that have jurisdiction, the house agriculture nutrition, oversight, and apartment operations subcommittee, this committee can has jurisdictions
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over policies and edges related to nutrition and consumer initiatives. so it is absolutely something we should be working to try to address. i now recognize the gentleman from california, representative carbajal. you now have five minutes. rep. carbajal: my central coast district is home to a robust military community including active-duty personnel commend many veterans who have devoted their lives to protecting our country. as a veteran myself, and committed to ensuring that every man and women who sacrificed so much for our country have the resources they need. which can affect their eligibility for federal new pogroms like snap--nutrition
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programs like snuffles also highlight-- like snap. you also highlight that it affects their being food insecure and the lack of access to affordable childcare. a bipartisan bill i coled with members of the subcommittee including representative panetta and representative baird would create a basic needs allowance to support low income service members who are not eligible for snap. can you please speak on how this bill would improve the crisis at hand? i know you touched on it already, but if you could expand on it, i would appreciate it. >> thank you for the question and for your support and leadership on this. the village very family needs and the military family needs allowance would call on the dod
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to notify families of their potential eligibility for this allowance if they are at or below 130% of the federal poverty line, which is the baseline of the gross income threshold for snap. the dod doesn't have all of the household information, and so a service member would have to report additional income, including their spouse's income. they could opt out if they chose not to participate. if they did qualify and were able to participate, they would basically get -- it would put them above the 130% poverty line. it is really an opportunity to respond to the barriers we are seeing in snap and to be able to give service members expert money they can use to respond to basic needs. we have got bipartisan support
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for it, and i'm hoping it can get done. the full provision is in the house and the senate version unfortunately does include the baa as income. that particular version of it would not be as effective. i'm hoping that the house version is the version that ends up in the final bill. you leadership in those -- on the committee who has also supported us. rep. carbajal: thank you. following up, could you also speak and how this bill could improve mental health outcomes for military-serving families? >> yes, thank you for that. i think a number of us have mentioned in our earlier remarks about the correlation between food insecurity and a negative mental health outcomes including
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suicide. responding to food insecurity is a critical action to address the crisis of increasing rates of military suicide. whether the screening we are doing or the care that is being provided, the solid start program, the veteran suicide prevention program, it is being able to make your folks are getting information about food insecurity and resources they can use will help with the interconnection with food insecurity and mental health outcomes. rep. carbajal: thank you so much. ac rep. hayes:from new york, ms. j. i'm not sure if she is on. ok, the next witness i had on the republican side is
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representative cammack from florida. ok. i recognize the gentleman from california, representative panetta. you have five minutes for questioning. rep. panetta: i appreciate this opportunity, and thank you to all of the witnesses as well as my colleagues who are not just interested but focused on doing something about this pressing issue. thanks witnesses who are willino discuss the issues of military hunger and hunger amongst our veterans. as you have heard, and i all -- and we all kinda believe that these issues represent a failure of our government to serve those who have served us. today you and mike likes we have heard from have exposed a number of the--my colleagues we have heard from have expressed a number of complicated reasons but also solutions we could put forward in congress to help
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. we heard how the usda counts the bah towards income when considering snap eligibility. that has resulted in a lowna and having to rely on food pantries and food banks for emergency food assistance. that is why to address that specific issue, i introduced a bipartisan military hunger prevention act which you have heard talked about. i was fortunate to have the support of the colleagues on this panel, and this bill would make up for that loss. the basic need allowance to purchase groceries -- although it is unfortunate that snap military families must resort to the program, i do believe it is our responsibility to ensure that those families at least have access to this necessary support that they need to lead healthy, food-secure lives.
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we will continue to work on this policy, and i encourage all of my college, not just on his hearing, but throughout congress to join the effort. we must do what we can to support military spouses who struggle with unemployed men. that is why i was proud to introduce an act that would make military spouse is eligible for the work opportunity tax credit, so businesses are actually incentivized to a higher those married two hours-- to hire those married to service members. now, let me just hit on the bill, if i could, a couple of questions on the military hunger prevention act. bah counts as income when determining snap eligibility. my legislation would address the unacceptable situation and ensure that these families are able to put food on the table.
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ms. hubbard, i know you talked about this already, but how would a food allowance change the circumstances for service members who are currently relying on food banks if this legislation was passed? ms. hubbard: as you mentioned, it would give the folks additional resources and increase their purchasing power for things like food, for their basic needs. i think we want to see that. if folks -- if they don't have these resources, they are turning to the charitable sector for food, and that is unacceptable. there is nothing wrong with food pantries for emergency needs, but it is unacceptable that service members are turning to pantries routinely to help feed their families. this benefit would really enable
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folks to have additional resources to be able to adequately address basic needs. rep. panetta: i agree, and i think your word "unacceptable" is more than appropriate. i've got a few minutes left. ms. hollywood, you note that one intersecting issue along with the issues we have discussed with the basic allowances browsing is military spouse unemployment. as i've noted, and i just talked about the military spouse hiring act, which would make military spouse eligible for the work opportunity tax credit. how would that address the unemployment crisis amongst military spouses? if you could elaborate on the key drivers of military spouse unemployment in your answer. ms. hollywood: the main key driver is the lack of child care. another key driver is military spouses unfortunately need
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flexible and a lot of times remote work, because if you have a military spouse that is deployed six-month out of the year, it is a much different dynamic than family whose spouse doesn't go on to employment. anything that helps move the needle for military spouse unemployment and get employers interested in hiring military exposes, as the act would do-- hiring military spouses, as the act would do, is a great move in the right direction. that would open the door to more employers pursuing hiring of military spouses. rep. panetta: thanks, ms. hollywood, thanks to all of our bonuses for highlighting such a n important to him except it was you. i yield back, manager. rep. hayes: thank you, representative panetta. i'm not sure if the gentleman from new york rejoined, representative jacobs, or the gentlelady from florida, representative cammack.
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ok, i now yield to the gentleman from florida, representative lawson. you have five minutes for questions. rep. lawson: thank you very much, madam chair, and happy veterans day to all of those members of this committee who are veterans and served for so many years. my question would be primarily to ms. hubbard right now, but anyone on the panel may answer. ms. hubbard, you mentioned in your testimony the need for congress to explore transitional benefits for service members and their families leaving military service. in your opinion, what sort of services should be included in the transitional benefit, and how long should they last? ms. hubbard: thank you for the question. that period of transition between active service and
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transition back into civilian life is a critical time and it is a time when food insecurity can rise. i think the v.a. and the dod need to do a better job of improving policies that help folks making the transition. one of the things that i mentioned in my testimony was for the program needing to be a better bridge to federal for programs like snap. from my understanding, the program is -- could be more effective with information about those resources. a lot of the folks who go through the program, it is a firehose of information that is hard to retain. inking about different -- thinking about different ways to link people during the
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transition is important. the other is looking at providing a six-month transitional snap, temporary, targeted traditional snap program for exiting service members at a certain rank level so they don't have to worry about insecurity during the six months while they are establishing themselves. while there finding a home and finding a job, in the civilian world. something like that would be very helpful for service members during that critical time. rep. lawson: does anyone want to comment on that? >> i think getting upstream of some of the problems would also help with transitioning veterans. back to my comment about military members getting 90% of local housing, as a person who
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moved 10 times in 20 years, every time you move that adds up expenses, and that complicated things as yoi transition out of the military. getting upstream is another way to solve this. rep. lawson: one question i want to ask the committee for the panel is does military ranking, regardless of what service, has a great deal to do with whether you have food insecurity? ms. hollywood: our research shows it is mostly junior enlisted and other enlisted families, particularly facing food insecurity. rep. lawson: i would like mr. keefe to comment on that. mr. keefe: well, it wasn't exactly an issue for me, but i did see that happening with
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people i know. you didn't make much money when you were in and you will not have much money when you leave. when you are in the higher ranks, you will make more money. it is reflective of american society in general. we are only as good -- somebody said great country -- we are only as great as the most disenfranchised person, and that should never be a veteran. rep. lawson: that is amazing. my colleagues have something to think about, what it was like when they exit the military. i don't think i can get to the other question i have in the state of florida. the veteran population according to the census bureau, about
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130,800 of those are women. i worry about the transition of women back into the workforce and snap benefits and everything else. but i don't have enough time. i yield back. rep. hayes: thank you, representative lawson, and thank you for bringing that to the tension of this committee. i recognize the gentleman from northern mariana islands. oh, did i lose him? ok. i will yield to the gentleman from new york, representative maloney. moving right along, we have, i guess, joining us today the
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gentleman from georgia and chairman of the house appropriations committee, representative bishop. welcome to our committee. you are mechanize for five minutes for questioning. r--recognize for five-minute for questioning. rep. bishop: thank you very much, madam chair. i thank the members of the subcommittee for recognizing this important issue. let me also commit representative panetta for the introduction of the military hunger prevention act, very much needed. i certainly agree 100% with the basic needs allowance. i would like to ask ms. hollywood, ms. hubbard, and for comments about their knowledge of the bill we introduced along with members of this subcommittee dealing with military hunger, the equal access to the nutrition act. i think there have been a number
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of hearings where ms. hollywood and ms. hubbard have participated. i would like you to comment on it, based on what we have heard today, the need for a national eligibility threshold, for example, the need for transitional assistance, the need for better data collection to be able to actually document, which we have been looking forward to. the need to have the department of defense and the department of agriculture work out some kind of cooperative agreement so that they can together address this problem of our military families . the possibilities of an automatic enrollment for our military families who would be eligible for snap. the basic allowance for housing looked at as we compare that to
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section eight, for example,whic. but for a military family that lives on post and receives the basic allowance for housing, they are penalized. let me ask ms. hollywood and ms. hubbard on how the urn act would complement -- earn act would complement the military hunger act which we hope will soon become law. >> thank you, sir. it has raised awareness about military food insecurity. short-term solutions like the act, inclusion of the basic needs allowance, that removing barriers to snap eligibility from the farm belt are extremely helpful. i do believe in the long run the
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root causes i addressed earlier in my testimony really need to be resolved to prevent this problem from existing in the first place. >> thank you, congressman bishop, for your commitment to the military and their families. i think the act has started and contributed to this larger conversation about how to address this issue in a comprehensive way. i think we welcome any legislation that will generate more conversation about potential solutions. we welcome the opportunity to work on this with you and be a part of future hearings where we can explore this particular piece of legislation further. i think, from where i sit, the most important thing we can do is pass the military family basic needs allowance provision. it is on the table now.
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it would provide immediate assistance to families. we look forward to exploring other viable options to address this issue. that one piece of legislation and provision will not get us there. it will be a great start. we would be open to talking about other ways to address this issue, because it has been too long of an issue to have been ignored the way it has. rep. bishop: thank you. if you can share some conclusions from your upcoming report on the disproportionate impact they face. can you share conclusions quickly? >> i don't have the stats right now other than the research did say military families -- we have not released. we just did a family of colors
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study but the topline results share that -- show food insecurity is higher in military families of color. we will result those -- release those results in february of 2022. rep. bishop: thank you for allowing me to participate in searing. rep. hayes: thank you, congress and bishop. i recognize the gentleman from new york, representative maloney. rep. maloney:: i think the chair for convening this. i'm delighted to learn more about this subject and see my constituency, ms. hollywood. people may not realize it is in western orange county new york on the border of pennsylvania and new jersey. it is also not that far from the united states military academy at west point. right now i think the large
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construction project in the army is at west point. we spend huge amounts of taxpayer dollars make sure we have the best trained, best equipped, most extort every group of young officers anywhere in the world coming out of the military academy. a few miles down the road, an organization like blue star families is working on an issue that represents another spectrum of the reality so many people face. i want to give you an opportunity to explain to folks you may find this hard to believe what the unique barriers are to military families when trying to access the snap benefits they have earned. it is glaring to know how many are accessing benefits because they are food insecure. there is a great number that are eligible that aren't receiving those benefits. i would love to give you an
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opportunity to talk about that. >> thank you, sir. i was at west point yesterday. a lot of concerns in that area. one thing we have seen is that, whether it is food insecurity or financial insecurity military families, you have to go through your chain of command to get help. there is this stigma associated with that. trying to overcome that with maybe food insecurity is not the right way to approach it with our families and veterans. we need to nervous to flourish or some way we can help destigmatize this issue with military families. getting them the access that they need to the resources. the three areas we talked about getting upstream of the problem, military spouse and employment, the unreimbursed relocation expenses all military families
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get every time they move, and the out-of-pocket housing expenses because of the housing allowance. those are the three main causes we see that continue to make this problem not go away for military families. rep. maloney: you have done important work with the military family lifestyle survey. can you expand on that because we have seen this in other areas where we are trying to help our vets and their families and sometimes there is a reluctance to ask for help. that barrier is sometimes self-imposed and is particularly challenging. talk about how we can do better on that and what the survey work you have done can tell us. ms. hollywood: we have been doing this military family
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lifestyle for 10 years now. we are not a lobbying group but we are an advocacy organization and tried to bring the results of the surveys to senior government leaders to help them help us move the needle. what we try to do is listen to what military families are saying. we get a lot of great input from military spouses who bear the burden of military moves. the burden of childcare, the burden of household incomes not as high as they would like because of spouse unemployment issues. when we gather this research and work with partners to find creative solutions and share that information with government leaders to help us advocate for solutions like we have discussed on this panel. rep. hayes: representative maloney, you are muted. rep. maloney: excuse me. we appreciate your help shining
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a light on this important issue as we celebrate our veterans and military families on veterans day. thank you for your important work and thank you for holding this hearing. i yield back. rep. hayes: thank you. i think that brings us to the end of our member questioning. if there are any other members on the platform who would like to ask a question, i will not recognize you. ok. i invite the ranking member congressman bacon to share closing comments he may have. rep. bacon: i think our panelists for being on today and sharing your perspective. i have a statement from the american logistics association. they provide details on how the supply chain affects food
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insecurity for the military. i would like to submit that for the record. rep. hayes: without objection. rep. bacon: i want to be careful talking about changing bah. we do not want to be taxable income, real taxable income. we want to be careful how we address this. i had maybe a follow-up question. maybe it is too late to get the panelists to comment. there was a mention that minorities are affected more. i would love to get more detail how that works with it -- when it is the same pay. i would like to understand that better. i would also write a letter to dod. i want to get their position on
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this. i could do it either way but we need to know is this a real issue with our ranks? if it is, the military needs to say it is and we need to work into it and lean into it and figure out how to fix this. i appreciate the time for these closing remarks. thank you. rep. hayes: thank you, representative bacon, and thank you for your perspective on this issue and thank you for your service. i would like to sincerely thank all the witnesses today. we genuinely appreciate you for being here to share your experiences. your testimony and answers to our questions paint a picture of the challenges faced by veterans and active duty military members that we will need as we work to remedy this problem on this committee. i hope we can all agree that even one hungry veteran or servicemember is too many.
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i asked the members of this committee to reflect on what we have heard today and come together to find solutions to ensure our veterans and service members have the basic dignity of knowing they will have food on the table for themselves and their families. under the rules of the committee the record of today's hearing will remain open for 10 calendar days to receive additional material and supplemental written responses from the witnesses to any questions posed by a member. this hearing of the subcommittee is adjourned. thank you.
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tuesday alejandra mayorkas specifies me administration's border and immigration policies before the senate judiciary committee. watch live 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, online at more watchful coverage on c-span now, our new video app. ♪♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more.
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including well. >> the world has changed, to a fast reliable internet connection is something no one can live without so how is that for customers, speed, reliability, value choice. it all starts with great interest. ♪♪ ♪♪ >> it's monday we like to look at the week ahead in washington. ray joined by mike willis, congressional reporter with the help and let's start with the action on the bill this week. the headline of your story at the democrat asked $1.75 trillion biden package. explain how they intend to do that. intend to do that. guest: they have been


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