The U.S Military and their families are true American heroes who risk their lives and well-being just so the rest of us can sleep peacefully at night. Much like any other American, they deserve the right to live a healthy lifestyle.

It is our duty as civilians to support military families and ensure that they get the assistance they need. Food insecurity in military families is a real problem that affects the livelihood of our service members. It is our job to help them improve their lives, strengthening the community and their ability to keep us safe and sound.

Food Insecurity in Military Families

Food insecurity is defined by the USDA as the lack of inconsistent access to enough food to live a healthy, active life. This condition is prevalent in many military families. According to the Military Family Advisory Network, 15.3% of military service members have trouble getting enough food for themselves and their family members.

Food insecurity can be of two types—chronic and momentary. As the name suggests, chronic food insecurity is when a family is constantly struggling each month to put food on the table, whereas momentary food insecurity is when the family is secure only for a limited period of time.

Military families that face food insecurity also suffer a number of other problems that take a toll on their mental and physical health and make it difficult for them to lead a happy life.

Mental Health Issues

Food insecurity in military families is prevalent because of mental health issues that veterans face. Veterans experience difficulty adapting to life back at home after spending so much time overseas and having experiences that have changed their lives. A 2015 research by Cambridge University found that around 27% of veterans that had served in wars in Iraq or Afghanistan were food insecure, with around 12% having very low food security.

Lack of Awareness

There is a lack of awareness amongst military families about the laws and the support programs created for them. They find it difficult to reach out to organizations that assist with military hunger prevention and as a result, continue suffering from food insecurity.

Effects on Children and Partners

Food insecurity also brings about a lot of challenges for military families. Most military families with children have a higher chance of being food insecure because they have more mouths to fill. Children may experience unmet hunger needs and in many severe cases, malnourishment as well. This may take a toll on their mental health and performance at school.

Partners may also experience the guilt of not helping out enough to provide basic necessities for their families. Many times, elders of the family sacrifice their own hunger to feed their children and that may destroy their ability to be good parents or perform well on their own jobs, thus increasing the chances of food insecurity.

Break the Chain

The cycle of food insecurity that our military heroes are stuck in can be broken with your help. Pledge today to help military service families live a hearty lifestyle like you do. Help us in our mission of providing food for military families by taking part in our Food Insecurity Challenge. Come join hands with us so that we can raise up to $3,000 dollars and 10,000 non-perishable food items this July.

Food insecurity in military families can come to an end with your assistance. For monetary contributions or donating non-perishable food items, log on to weareoneca.org. If you belong to a military family that needs help, call us for emergency assistance on (949) 988-0077, email us at info@weareoneca.org or fill the form on our website.

Let’s come together and promise to play our part in helping military families so that no child or adult has to go to bed again with an empty stomach.