With the end of 2022 now on the horizon, there’s something many of us are looking forward to first: the holiday season. Many of these holidays focus on spending time with family around the dinner table. But what if you don’t have enough food to put on that table?
From October 11-21, Armed Forces Bank is participating in “Days of Giving” to help make a difference for those who experience food insecurity. Learn more about what the statistics say and how we’re helping.
Food Insecurity in the Military
What does it mean to be food insecure? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
“Food insecurity is defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. In 2020, 13.8 million households were food insecure at some time during the year. Food insecurity does not necessarily cause hunger, but hunger is a possible outcome of food insecurity.”
In simple terms, being food insecure means that you don’t have consistent access to the food you need for a healthy lifestyle.
While food insecurity is clearly a problem for the general population, as highlighted in the definition above, food insecurity is also a problem that many of our nation’s military families face. Statistics from Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) in 2022 showed that this year, 1 in 6 military families are food insecure.
The Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition (MFFIC)
MFAN is part of the Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition, which was created in 2018. The coalition shares research and resources, raises awareness, and develops solutions that alleviate hunger among our military and veteran communities.
The coalition is comprised of military-connected nonprofits, advocacy and education organizations, policymakers, subject matter experts, industry leaders, food banks, and more. While there are more than 25 participating organizations along with MFAN, several notable ones include:
- American Red Cross
- Armed Services YMCA
- Feeding America
- Military Officers Association of America
- National Military Family Association
- United Way
- United Service Organization
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Wounded Warrior Project
The MFFIC has been tracking the issues of food insecurity and hunger in the military community for years. Their research consistently shows that military families have been quietly struggling to meet this basic need.
In 2019, 1 in 8 of the national survey respondents was experiencing food insecurity. The COVID-19 pandemic further compounded the issue and the number rose to 1 in 5 in some parts of the country in 2021, though numbers have settled at 1 in 6 for 2022.
How Armed Forces Bank is Getting Involved
The Military Family Advisory Network hosts many food distribution events to provide food assistance to military families and veterans. According to their plan to combat military hunger:
“We are committed to providing both big-picture solutions and immediate on-the-ground assistance to military families in need across the country — hosting food distribution events, connecting families with resources, and continuing our research.”
And Armed Forces Bank is rising to the occasion, ready to do our part in support of military families across the country.
For Days of Giving, which began on October 11 and will run through October 21, we are working to combat military hunger by donating food, money, and time. Each of our leaders at our 23 banking centers around the country identified a local organization or event to support for 10 days, whether it was a food pantry, an on-base chapel, a food drive, volunteer opportunities in the community or being a drop-off destination for food items in high demand. “I am extremely proud of our bank Associates for stepping up and putting boots on the ground to support this important initiative. Community outreach and support for our Veterans, military service members and their families are part of the fabric of our company’s culture. We love this time of the year as all of our spirits are lifted when we give a helping hand. This is who we are.”
We are donating time, money and food items to local organizations in the communities we serve and raising critical funds to support MFAN to meet the need across the United States. We CAN make a difference, and together we can help our military families in need who are facing hunger.
Because we’re proud to serve those who serve.