August 14, 2021

Duckworth Meets with Veteran Advocates to Discuss Military Hunger in Chicagoland


[NORTH CHICAGO, IL] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with officials from Midwest Veterans Closet, a veterans donation site and support organization, as well as Illinois hunger advocates and military families in North Chicago to tour the organization’s new location and discuss strategies to address hunger among military families. Last month, a modified version of Duckworth’s Military Hunger Prevention Act was successfully included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed in the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 23-3. Photos from today’s meeting are available here.

“Far too many of our military families experience hunger because of unintended barriers that make them unable to access essential nutrition assistance programs,” Duckworth said. “As someone whose family relied on public nutrition programs after my father lost his job, and who served in the uniform for most of my adult life, I’m glad for the opportunity to talk with the Illinoisans on the ground responding to food insecurity and the military families impacted by it.”

“We applaud Senator Duckworth for her continued commitment to our military heroes, especially recognizing and combating healthy food insecurity,” said Midwest Veterans Closet Executive Director Mary Carmody.

The Duckworth-authored provision in this year’s NDAA would require DoD to create a basic needs allowance for servicemembers below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines to assist them with affording basic necessities, particularly food. This week, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), both members SASC, sent a letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin following reports describing “extreme food insecurity” among National Guard and Reserve service members.

Duckworth was joined today by Midwest Veterans Closet Executive Director Mary Carmody, MAZON Board Member Julie Chernoff and