U.S. Rep. Mike Levin. Photo by Chris Stone
U.S. Rep. Mike Levin. Photo by Chris Stone

Rep. Mike Levin will lead a bipartisan hearing Monday in Oceanside to examine the impact of COVID-19 on veterans facing hunger.

The Congressional Field Hearing on Ending Veteran Hunger, at the Veterans Association of North County, 1617 Mission Ave., begins at 10 a.m.

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will livestream the proceedings.

A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study found that from 2015 to 2019, 11.1% of working-age veterans lived in a food-insecure household and 5.3% lived in a household with very low food security.

While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and USDA have made progress in identifying veterans experiencing food insecurity and connecting them with resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the COVID-19 pandemic added new hardships for veteran families.

This hearing, according to Levin’s office, will examine trends in the prevalence of veteran hunger and how government agencies and non-profits adapted during the pandemic. 

Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano – his district includes parts of North County – chairs the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

Joining him will be House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, and Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Ranking Member Rep. Barry Moore, R-Alabama.

Witnesses set to appear before the panel include Daniel Santibanez, the VA San Diego Healthcare System’s nutrition and food services chief, Christine Going, the VA National food security program coordinator and Anahid Brakke, president of the San Diego Hunger Coalition.