NORFOLK, Va. – Thursday morning both U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott and Elaine Luria joined retired military leaders to discuss the importance of federal programs increasing access to fresh, nutritious foods for young people especially those wanting to pursue a military career. The event was held at the MacArthur Memorial Museum in Norfolk.
The new report from the nonprofit organization – Mission: Readiness – shows how unhealthy eating habits are contributing to our military’s recruitment challenges and how increasing children’s access to fresh and nutritious food can help strengthen national security.
70 % of young adults, ages 17-24, are not qualified and cannot serve in the military. Reports from Mission: Readiness say poor nutrition which can lead to obesity is among the leading causes of why so many young people are turned away at the start of their military career.
“I think it’s really powerful that a group of hundreds of retired admirals and generals just really realize the national security issue that this is and we need to start early, we need to start young and provide access to nutritious foods,” says Congresswoman Elaine Luria.
The report also highlights federal nutrition programs that work with both the state and private nonprofits to increase access to fresh foods throughout a child’s development into young adulthood. The federal nutrition programs include: National School Lunch Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.