Letters to Lawmakers | Press Release | May 15, 2023

Retired Military Leaders Call on Congress to Support Critical Nutrition Programs

Members of Mission: Readiness sent a letter today calling on Congress to bolster SNAP in the new farm bill

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, members of Mission: Readiness wrote a letter calling on Congress to take immediate action to address the health, educational, and behavioral barriers preventing children from leading healthy and successful lives.

In their letter, the members of Mission: Readiness call attention to the latest Department of Defense statistics on military eligibility that state that 77 percent of young people ages 17 to 24 cannot qualify for military service. The leading disqualifier, surpassing drug use, crime, and educational barriers, is obesity.

In order to address the rising rates of obesity in young people, the members of Mission: Readiness are calling on Congress to specifically protect and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), including expanding the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentives Program (GusNIP), when they draft the 2023 Farm Bill. SNAP and GusNIP are critical to ensuring that children at every stage of development have access to fresh and nutritious foods that keep them healthy and fit.

“Strengthening nutrition programs in the Farm Bill can help protect national security by providing more young Americans access to nutritious foods so they can grow up healthy and prepared for success,” said Major General William Wofford, U.S. National Guard (Ret.), one of the members of Mission: Readiness who signed the letter.

While ensuring more families have access to fresh and nutritious food alone cannot solve the growing health and national security crises our nation faces, it is a crucial component to addressing them.