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Legislation proposed to provide financial support to low-income military families

Around the country and even in Central Texas, many military families face food insecurity....
Around the country and even in Central Texas, many military families face food insecurity. However, a group of lawmakers and a local non-profit are hoping to change that.(KBTX)
Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 5:22 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Around the country and even in Central Texas, many military families face food insecurity. However, a group of lawmakers and a local non-profit are hoping to change that.

Veteran John Valentine says food insecurity among low-income military families is a problem that he knows all too well. Today, an enlisted soldier with a spouse and child are eligible for food stamps. However, if they live off post, the money they receive to secure their housing is counted as part of their income, leaving many families still struggling financially.

“It’s something that needs to be addressed because of the impact it has on these military families and the opportunity it gives them is very significant,” he said.

“I’ve had soldiers come in here before and tell me how they applied for food stamps and other things, but because they made just $11 dollars over, they made too much.”

Valentine’s non-profit, Operation Phantom Support, has helped aid those families for the last few years by providing food, clothes and other needs.

Lawmakers are now getting involved with the issue by presenting legislation. The Military Hunger Prevention Act would help create a basic needs allowance for low-income military families.

“If there’s a window of need, there needs to be a way to work around these smaller guidelines that they have because we need to make the right decision for that family,” Valentine said.

“I think that’s what the law should really cover.”

Bills like this have been introduced before including 2018, but have failed to pass. While the future remains uncertain, Valentine says he’ll keep his doors open as long as he can.

“No matter what, I’m gonna help any family that comes in,” he said.

“We don’t turn anybody away for assistance. If we can help them we’ll help them.”

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