Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Use by Active Duty Service Members, Veterans, Reservists in Comparison With Non-Military Individuals
I use data from the 5-year (2011-2015) American Community Survey public-use file to examine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use by military service status: active duty personnel, veterans, reserve/guard members, and civilian non-service members. Overall, and by military service status, I examine weighted descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression models that include demographic and socioeconomic controls. Testing distinct and competing hypotheses supported by divergent lines of research and theory, I show that military-affiliated individuals (active duty, reserve, and veterans) are less likely to use SNAP as compared against non-affiliated individuals (civilians). Moreover, I examine the underpinnings of the All-Volunteer Force to examine if service-affiliated individuals from impoverished regions in the country are more likely to be in poverty, and I find that this hypothesis is not supported when examining SNAP use relative to those groups and regions. Taking these findings, I then offer thoughts on their interpretation, policy steps, and direction for future research.