Skip to Content

Press Releases

Reps. Sara Jacobs and Julia Brownley Introduce the End Veteran Hunger Act

Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26), Chair of the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced legislation to combat food insecurity among veterans. The End Veteran Hunger Act will provide grants for proven federal food and nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to increase proactive outreach and education to veterans, and reduce the stigma associated with utilizing these programs. Veterans, especially working-age ones, are more likely than non-veterans to live in food-insecure households. More than 1 in 4 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle to put food on the table.


“Our veterans sacrifice so much for our freedom, safety, and security – and the very least we can do is ensure they have enough to eat when they return home,” said Congresswoman Sara Jacobs. “It’s an embarrassment that the wealthiest nation in the world – with the most powerful military force – is also home to over a million veterans who struggle to put food on the table. As a representative of San Diego’s vibrant military community, I’m proud to help address food insecurity and hunger among veterans and introduce the End Veteran Hunger Act to boost outreach, education, and enrollment of veterans in proven federal food and nutrition programs.”


“Many veterans and their families experience food insecurity in this country, which is wholly unacceptable. Ensuring veterans have the food and nutrition they need is a basic and critical component to their overall health and wellness,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “Veterans often experience challenges navigating the confusing and siloed system of nutritional support services for which they may be eligible. The End Veteran Hunger Act takes a collective approach to ending veterans’ food insecurity by authorizing VA to provide community-based organizations with additional resources to help connect veterans with existing nutritional support programs. Creating partnerships between VA, community-based organizations, and other government agencies focused on combatting hunger in our country is the most impactful way to ensure veterans and their families can access the critical services to meet their food and nutritional needs.”


“Those who fight for our freedom should never struggle to feed themselves and their families, but that’s sadly not the case,” said Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. “We know that nearly 1.2 million veterans receive assistance from SNAP (formerly food stamps), but millions more needlessly struggle without help from the country they served. Particularly as more veterans face illness, economic hardship, disability, and mental health issues in the wake of COVID-19, we welcome Congresswoman Sara Jacobs and Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s introduction of the End Veteran Hunger Act of 2022. We look forward to partnering with Congress and the Biden Administration to improve the health and wellbeing of America’s veterans by confronting painful realities and working toward sustainable solutions. We can end veteran hunger if we just muster the political will. This bill is a helpful step toward that goal.”


Luis Guardia, President of Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) said, “Federal nutrition assistance programs can provide veterans and their families with the food they need to work, learn, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, due to well-established participation gaps, many eligible veterans are missing out on those benefits and going hungry. The proposed investments in outreach, awareness, and application assistance leverage proven strategies, which can help veterans get the services to which they are entitled.”


The End Veteran Hunger Act would:

·      Create a 5-year grant program serving veterans and their families, administered through the VA’s National Nutrition and Food Services Office

·      Provide grants to:

·      Increase access to and enrollment in Federal food and nutrition programs, including SNAP

·      Increase participation in nutrition counseling and education programs 

·      Provide direct food assistance as a complement to program access, enrollment, and education efforts 

·      Include community-based organizations, veterans service organizations, tribal organizations, and government agencies (local, state, or federal) among eligible entities 

·      Require the VA, in consultation with USDA, to submit an interim and final report on the effectiveness and outcomes of the grants