Food Insecurity in the U.S. Military
Jan 3, 2023
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 directed the Secretary of Defense to report on food insecurity among members of the armed forces and their dependents. RAND researchers examined the eight elements from the directive (including an assessment of the current extent of food insecurity among service members and their dependents) and developed answers, along with listing areas requiring additional analysis.
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The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 directed the Secretary of Defense to report on food insecurity among members of the armed forces and their dependents. The directive includes the following elements: an assessment of the current extent of food insecurity among not only service members and their dependents but also those living on post and presumably not receiving the basic allowance for housing (BAH); participation in food assistance programs; barriers to accessing this assistance; a description of other sources of income to meet basic needs; an assessment of the feasibility and advisability of a basic needs allowance (BNA) for low-income members; and three sets of recommendations (for policies, programs, and activities) to address food insecurity among military families. RAND researchers examined these elements and developed answers, along with listing areas requiring additional analysis.
Defining Food Insecurity, Data Sources, and Food Assistance Program Eligibility
Insights from the Literature
Stakeholder Discussions: Approach and Key Themes
Analyses of Survey Data of Active Duty Members: Approach and Findings
Additional Data Analyses
Analysis of a Basic Needs Allowance
Summary of Findings and Areas of Future Research
USDA Six-Item Short Form
Overview of Surveys of General Population That Include Food Insecurity Questions
Food Assistance Questions in 2016 Status of Forces Survey of Active Duty Members
Additional Analyses of the 2016 SOFS-A Data
School Lunch Analyses
This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).
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