By: Rhiannon Guzelian, Communications Manager, NVI

This blog is part of an ongoing series on veterans and food insecurity. Once you’ve read this primer on food insecurity among the veteran population, check out the smart ways our Local Partners are taking action at the community level to combat this growing concern.

“Do I pay my rent, or feed my kids?”

“If I skip dinner for the next week, can I afford my meds?”

“Where will my next meal come from?”

Those are the very real questions people face when they experience food insecurity. Food insecurity is anxiety-provoking, detrimental to health, and stigmatizing despite how common it actually is. And now, it’s more common than ever due to COVID-19’s devastating impact on employment rates, small businesses, and, therefore, Americans’ incomes. Veterans — and service members, especially those at junior ranks — are not safe from food insecurity.

If you’re a member of a veteran-serving organization or collaborative, chances are you’re encountering more veterans and military families making those tough calls — some of them for the first time in their lives. Let’s take a look at three factors to consider when approaching the issue of food insecurity in your local military and veteran community.

Data on food insecurity among veterans is limited, and the data that is available shows a wide range of possibilities — studies have shown rates as low as 6% and as high as 24% (though it’s worth noting that all of these numbers are pre-COVID-19). A helpful scholarly article published this year, “Food Insecurity Among Veterans,” was written by an interdisciplinary team of health professionals and breaks down the health impacts of food insecurity, the data on who is most vulnerable, and how clinical screening is helping the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) identify veterans in need.

Read the full article about food insecurity among veterans by Rhiannon Guzelian at Medium.