Veterans represent an alarming sector of the growing class of the hungry in America, according to a recent study by Feeding America.

Twenty percent of all households nationwide currently being fed by Feeding America have a family member who is a veteran. According to the Feeding America’s Hunger in America 2014 study, among the people they serve are “620,000 households who have at least one member actively serving in the U.S. military.”

Kate Maehr, CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, recently expressed her concerns about the saddening trend of nationwide and local hunger among the families of U.S. veterans. “We believe that no one should go hungry, least of all a veteran who served our county,”Maehr wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Ideally, every man and woman who served [in the military] would be welcome with plentiful opportunities for employment health and well-being,” Maehr added. “Together, we can end hunger among veterans. We can ensure that the last thing a veteran ever needs to worry about is whether or not they will have food to eat.”

The veterans representing the growing sector of the hungry said they “have had to choose between food and utilities,” the Hunger in America study added. Still, others claim they have been forced to make such critical decisions as choosing between food and medical care, and even the pursuit of further education.

Feeding America officials add that one in four households with a current U.S. military member is served by their network alone.

The Hunger in America 2014 study is the largest of its kind. It purports to provide a comprehensive snapshot of people forced to rely on food assistance nationwide. The institution is the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the U.S.

The veterans that are a part of this growing number of the hungry in America are at even greater risk. It is reported that more than 130,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in the U.S. What’s more, nearly 3 million veterans and their families don’t have enough to eat from month to month.

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