Army advises SNAP for soldiers fighting inflation

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(NewsNation) — One piece of financial guidance issued last month by the U.S. Army advises soldiers to apply for benefits through the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.

The Army, in its guidance, noted that inflation is “affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent,” and some soldiers and their families are finding it harder to keep up.

“Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance and advice through the Army’s Financial Readiness Program,” Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston wrote.

The Financial Readiness Program, Grinston wrote, offers online resources and “free credentialed personal financial counselors.”

Among other resources, SNAP was listed as one option for servicemembers who might be feeling the pinch from higher prices.

Known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP is run by the federal government to help those with a low income to purchase food.

This suggestion came with some criticism. NewsNation’s Leland Vittert recently said the news makes his “blood boil.”

“I am not talking about Russian troops going hungry, or the Taliban not feeding their soldiers,” Vittert said. “This is the people who put on the uniform to defend all of us.”

Vittert went on to say low pay could be a factor in low military recruitment.

“Who in their right mind would risk their life for a job where leadership tells you to go on food stamps?” he said. “It’s a testament to our soldiers that they do it anyway. That’s patriotism. But we aren’t repaying their bravery. We are literally sending them to food pantries and then off to war.”

An Wall Street opinion article by two fellows at the American Enterprise Institute, Mackenzie Eaglen and John Ferrari, also criticized what they said was the Defense Department’s “flat-footed” response to inflation.

“This won’t ease the crisis in military recruiting,” Eaglen, a senior fellow, and Ferrari, a visiting fellow and retired Army major general, said. “The armed forces are likely to miss recruitment targets again next year, and therefore shrink at a time of heightened global risks.

According to the U.S. Army’s website, a private with four years of experience can expect to make a $21,999 base salary, not including bonuses, allowances and other benefits.

However, in the Army’s financial guidance, it also noted that “distressed” members are also eligible for grants, interest-free loans and scholarships that can cover food costs, rent or mortgage problems, utilities, home repairs and more.

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