San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who also happens to be an Air Force veteran, reflected briefly on Veterans Day yesterday, saying it’s great to honor people, but “in some ways, it’s a sad day because (soldiers and veterans) don’t really get honored the way they should be.”
Popovich added, “[H]ow many vets might have to do without food stamps because of what’s going on with the government right now? That program is huge to a lot of these families. I mean huge. It gets them through.” The coach said that “because government is not very functional at this point,” Veterans Day is a fine time to remember that “a whole lot more has to be done” for those who served.
With this in mind, Erika Eichelberger fleshed out some of the key details surrounding vets and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
At least 900,000 veterans rely on SNAP. The House Republican version of the farm bill, the five-year piece of legislation that funds nutrition and agriculture provisions, would slash funding for the food stamps program by nearly $40 billion and boot 2.8 million people off the program next year. That includes 170,000 veterans, who would be removed through a provision in the bill that would eliminate food stamps eligibility for non-elderly jobless adults who can’t find work or an opening in a job training program.
Eichelberger added that congressional fights are still underway as to food-stamp funding in the pending farm bill, but “whatever the final number, veterans will likely feel the pinch.”
A “whole lot more has to be done,” indeed.