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Immediate Release

Statement by Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks on Strengthening Food Security in the Force

Attributable to Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks:

Earlier this week, I convened senior leaders from our military services and combatant commands for a 120-day update on the efforts directed by Secretary Lloyd Austin to strengthen food security across the Joint Force.

We’ve made a lot of progress by reducing prices in the commissaries, creating a basic needs allowance for eligible service members, and expanding access to healthy food options. I heard constructive feedback from our military and civilian leaders on where we’re succeeding, and where we need to do better. 

To our workforce and their families: we hear your concerns. They are driving action here at the Pentagon and throughout the force, as demonstrated by Secretary Austin’s September 22 memo, “Taking Care of our Service Members and Families,” where he directed a range of actions to improve the well-being of our service members and their families. These include making moves easier, strengthening family support, and expanding spousal employment.  

We will continue to focus on driving positive changes to improve readiness, well-being, and mission effectiveness.  The Department of Defense is committed to taking care of our people.