2014 Hunger in America study: Veterans, students needing more food aid

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - Just released data from the 2014 Hunger in America study shows more veterans and college students need food aid.

The study is released every four years.

Food bank leaders say they are seeing more college students needed assistance on the Treasure Coast, even receiving more referrals from colleges for food assistance for students.

"A lot of these kids are living on their own and they're trying to survive and make it day to day," said Judith Cruz of the Treasure Coast Food Bank .

Representatives from the food bank say 20 percent of the people it currently serves are veterans, which is nearly 20,000 households.

The data will give the food bank direction on how to distribute food and fight  hunger in the future.

The Treasure Coast Food bank rolled out a veterans program two years ago but will be focusing more help for those who rely on their services.

"I'd have less spending money, that's for sure. I wouldn't be able to by some of the other things that we need to live on," said veteran Walter Cozzins.

"That couple hundred dollars a month right now is out of my pocket. A couple hundred dollars a month is a lot of money to anybody, especially when you're living on a fixed income," said veteran James Thomason.

The study also reveals that St. Lucie County has the largest number of food insecure people on the Treasure Coast, while Martin County has the highest food cost index.

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