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Canned food and fork
Two Republican articles of faith that would seem to be unconnected are that people on food stamps are deadbeats living off taxpayers and that people in the military are America's heroes. So how are they going to reconcile the $100 million in food stamps that will be redeemed at base commissaries this year?

The number of active duty military receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits is believed to be low—in 2011, it was 5,000—but in 2012, $99 million in SNAP benefits were used on bases, and the figure was up 9 percent in the first six months of this fiscal year. In 2012, an additional $31.2 million in Women, Infants, and Children benefits were used on base.

The House's planned SNAP cuts will hit disabled veterans like Butch Griggs:

Griggs became a single parent after his ex-wife, who suffered severely from diabetes and other problems, died of cardiac arrest a year ago. In spite of both parents' problems, they got their oldest daughter through college last year, and Griggs got his 18-year-old son enrolled in college this week.

He has three more children, ages 16, 10 and 9, to support. He takes a bus to the grocery store because he can't afford a car. And even with the pain in his back, he said he hauls the supplies home in a backpack. He described how he has to carefully parse out the $710 a month he gets in Social Security disability payments, the $550 he gets from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the $550 from SNAP to feed his family for a month.

Often it means balancing what clothes to buy, which school supplies or events to pay for. Sometimes the cheaper choice winds up being more expensive, he said, explaining two of his kids wound up with foot problems from wearing cheap shoes.

Who knows, maybe for Republicans, being in the military is like being a fetus: You're exalted while you're on the inside, but once on the outside, you're completely on your own.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunger in America and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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