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Nutrition and Food Services

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VHA Food Security Office

food bank handing a box of food to a person

Food Insecurity 

Like many Americans, some Veterans are forced to choose between necessities like purchasing food, permanent housing or going to the doctor. Every day, countless Veterans struggle to provide adequate nutrition for themselves and their families and struggle to pay rent. We recognize that one food-insecure Veteran is one too many, and concerted efforts are being made to alleviate this crisis. Food is a social driver of health and defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, or a household level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Food insecure individuals are more likely to have physical and mental health problems.

The VHA Food Security Office (FSO) supports Veteran comprehensive health and wellbeing by ensuring food security. Our Mission is to provide resources to VA healthcare systems through partnerships, data management, and research and education to support an interdisciplinary approach to ensure Veteran food security to create an environment where all Veterans are food and nutrition secure.

The VA can help connect Veterans with resources to access nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food.


VA Services

Additional Resources

Self Screen

Consider these two questions:

Within the past 12 months you worried whether your food would run out before we got money to buy more.
  • Often true
  • Sometimes true
  • Never true
Within the past 12 months the food you bought just didn’t last and you didn’t have money to get more.
  • Often true
  • Sometimes true
  • Never true
If you answered “sometimes” or “often” true, VA can help. Click the VA Services tab above to learn more.

VA Services 

Several VA teams work together to help Veterans access safe and stable food. 

Primary Care

Primary Care doctors will ask questions about your food supply at home. If you report, you sometimes run out of food or money to buy enough food your doctor may suggest you meet with someone who can help.  It is important to tell your doctor if you have trouble buying enough food so they can best treat your medical conditions.

Social Work

Your VA social worker is an important member of your healthcare team. Your social worker can provide education and connect you with VA and local resources. If you are eligible, they can help you with benefits and services that improve your ability to purchase safe and stable food.


Registered Dietitians are trained to provide nutrition therapy to prevent, improve and treat diseases. Your dietitian will provide tips for cooking low-cost meals or shopping on a budget. They will also help connect you with VA and local resources.


U.S. Food Insecurity – 2022

  • 17 million U.S. households were food insecure at some point (up 3.5 million from 13.5 million in 2021). 
  • 12.1 million families with children in the United States were food insecure. 
  • More than 13 million children and 1 in 14 senior citizens were at risk of hunger.  
  • More than 49 million people in the United States — including Veterans — turned to food banks and community organizations to feed themselves.

Source: Feeding America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development