Report: 25% of veterans who return home from war struggle with hunger


The state is seeing more veterans applying for welfare benefits. A new report found 25-percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling with hunger.

As a result, the Department of Transitional Assistance and Veterans’ Services are teaming up to help returning vets dealing with food insecurity. 

Out of the nearly 365,000 veterans living in Massachusetts, around 24,000 of them are receiving food stamp benefits just to help put food on the table. And it’s not just food insecurity.

Thomas Belton, the Director of Veterans Services in Springfield told 22News his office has seen an uptick in Korean-war and Vietnam-era veterans needing financial help.

Belton’s office offers a state program called Chapter 115, which provides financial and medical assistance to veterans and their families. 

“Most of them are coming through because they’re at a point where they need assistance with prescriptions,” said Belton. “So we help them understand how to get enrolled in the VA or if they’re eligible for our program, we’ll sign them up for our program.”

To combat hunger, the state is partnering with community veterans services to help servicemen apply for SNAP benefits. They also plan to host five regional training sessions. 

Create a SNAP resource guide for Veterans and host resource fairs. 

The Department of Transitional Assistance is planning a presentation at the Department of Veterans Services annual conference to increase awareness about food insecurity.

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