As we honor the sacrifices of military servicemen and women during Military Appreciation Month, more than 160,000 active duty military families are struggling to put food on the table for their children. To reach these brave Americans, Feed the Children has established the Military Family Fund to deliver nonperishable food, household essentials, and additional supplies to veterans and active duty servicemen and women coast-to-coast in an effort to help them combat stress and financial insecurity.
Despite their commitment to serving our country with honor, many junior military families are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Not only are they worried about their loved ones being deployed, but they are also facing rising childcare costs as well as higher food and gas prices.
The families of many military service members struggle with hunger because of financial hardship. A recent study conducted by Feed the Children’s partner Blue Star Families found that a variety of barriers make employment difficult for the spouses of active duty service members, and many times they may be unemployed or underemployed despite having obtained a college degree.
In fact, 20 percent of military spouses in the labor force are unemployed and actively seeking work. An additional 63 percent of military spouses are underemployed. The report found a combination of issues keep these spouses from holding jobs. Nearly half of them said they would be looking for a new job in the next year and of those, a third of the spouses said it was because their family will be relocating due to receiving new orders.
For military spouses like Dana who is expecting her second child, the food and essentials provided by Feed the Children mean one less thing her family has to worry about.
“Inflation is a real thing right now, so this really helps, especially with me getting ready to have two children on my hands,” she said. “Everything has gone up in price and the grocery stores have a shortage right now.”
During a Feed the Children distribution event, Dana not only received food and household essentials, but also diapers, books and toys for her young son.
“This is going to help my son,” she said. “He's going to get to play with toys, he's going to have diapers. I worry about running out.”
By working through its network of community partners in the U.S., Feed the Children’s Military Family Fund is providing support to thousands of military families across the country. The nonprofit plans to increase outreach and support to serve more communities near military bases by delivering resources to help families.
Feed the Children supporters Joe and Cathi Maynard know all too well what many military families can go through when money is tight.
“We remember early days in our military careers and the help people provided for us,” Joe said.
“We remember, two days before payday, deciding if you’ve got to pay bills or buy food instead. It’s tough when you’re young and have children, especially.”
Individuals and businesses can make a difference in the lives of our country’s heroes by supporting Feed the Children’s Military Family Fund. For more information or to learn how you can help, visit feedthechildren.org.