Sprinkled throughout a swelling crowd of about 100 people outside the Killeen Food Care Center are men and women in U.S. Army uniforms, waiting with the others for their 10 days' food rations for their families.
Killeen is at the main gate of Fort Hood, home to as many as 50,000 soldiers and the military's busiest hub over the past 10 years for troop deployments to Iraq.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that the food pantry on the post has served nearly 5,000 military families since 2008. The newspaper also reports food stamp usage at on-post commissaries has grown from about $285,000 in 2001 to $1.4 million last year.
The newspaper analyzed totals from the Defense Commissary Agency for Fort Hood and the nation's military installations.