Military life is truly a family affair. For 10-year-old Maggie, it’s the environment she’s growing up in. Her dad serves in the Marine Corps so she has experienced first-hand all that military life entails — from moving to making new friends and everything in between. She has watched her mom, Erin, be an amazing parent, supportive military spouse, and difference maker for military and veteran families.
For the past few years, Maggie has witnessed Erin turn her passion into her profession through her role as MFAN’s Senior Manager of Programs. Maggie recently went to work with her mom to get an up-close look at the work happening to support military-connected families, especially when it comes to food insecurity.
She had a memorable day and learned a lot! Here’s what she had to say about the experience:
My mom works for MFAN (Military Family Advisory Network) and is working on military family wellness. MFAN recently provided one million meals to military families in need. Currently, my mom is trying to make sure that military families know what resources are available to them.
One of those resources is free and reduced school lunches. Free and reduced school lunches help families who have trouble paying for food. It’s not as rare as you’d think. One out of six families are food insecure. Sometimes, food insecure families need to skip meals, or can only afford unhealthy food that doesn’t give them the nutrition they need.
Some programs help out military families in need, but check their income. Sometimes they include BAH [Basic Allowance for Housing]. When you’re a military family, you get money for your house. Some programs add on that, so some of the military families that are food insecure end up unable to get help.
Free and reduced lunches would assist [these] families, as the parents only need to feed their kids dinner and over the weekend. Students need to go to school and get good grades and not to worry if they have enough to eat. Teachers and students need to focus on learning, not their empty stomachs.
Finding Meals for Kids When Schools Are Closed
Maggie, inspired by what she learned during her day at MFAN, wanted to share a resource of her own to help fellow military kids who may be facing food insecurity: Summer Meals for Kids.
Summer Meals for Kids provides free lunches to children up to age 18 at approved locations across the country. To find a location in your community, as well as the hours of operation, click here.