Veterans in Pennsylvania

  • Total veteran population in PA: 929,094
  • 6.2% ages 18-34
  • 21.5% ages 35-54
  • 21.3% ages 55-64
  • 51.1% ages 65+

Veterans Face Multiple Barriers to Obtaining Food Security


  • 11.8% of veterans between the ages of 18 and 34 live below the poverty line.


  • 9.3% of post-9/11 veterans are unemployed.
  • Young veterans can face discrimination from potential employers in the hiring process.


  • Almost 1 in 10 homeless individuals are veterans.
  • The number of homeless veterans jumped 46% in Pennsylvania from 2009 to 2013.


  • Veterans may experience unique health issues, including physical disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
  • 39% of veterans living in poverty have a disability.

Remember: Veterans Aren’t Alone

  • 69.7% of veterans are married.
  • 31% of veterans have children.
  • The obstacles of food security faced by many veterans negatively affect their spouses and children, as well. In 2013, Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to families of service members, received more emergency requests for food assistance than any other kind of assistance.

Amount of SNAP (food stamps) Benefits Redeemed at Commissaries

  • 2007: $24.8 million
  • 2008: $31.3 million
  • 2009: $52.9 million
  • 2010: $72.8 million
  • 2011: $87.8 million
  • 2012: $98.8 million
  • 2013: $103.6 million

Food Assistance Programs Reduce Food Insecurity and its Negative Impacts

  • 59,300 veterans living in Pennsylvania received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2011.
  • In FY 2013, nationally, over $103 million in SNAP benefits was spent at military bases.
  • Benefits are used to buy staples such as milk, cheese, meat, and bread.
  • In addition to SNAP benefits, over $30 million will be redeemed at military bases under the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC).
  • Not only do SNAP beneficiaries receive food assistance, they are also eligible for employment and training services through SNAP, which can aid veterans in securing employment or learning the skills necessary to start a new vocation.


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