The Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition (MFFIC) held their first meeting of 2022 on March 2. Here are key takeaways for military families:
addressing access to assistance
Defense policy staff from the office of Senator Tammy Duckworth (Illinois) briefed the group on proposed legislation – the Military Family Nutrition Access Act – which would “amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to exclude a basic allowance for housing from income for purposes of eligibility for the supplemental nutrition assistance program.”
Proponents of the bill believe that amending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) guidelines to exclude Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) remains the most durable and effective solution to the problem of military hunger.
- Addresses a lack of access to federal food assistance and subsidies for military members by directing the Department of Agriculture to exclude BAH in these calculations.
- Creates an institutional fix to ensure enduring access by amending the foundational legislation, Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, that establishes how SNAP eligibility is calculated and adjusting it specifically for military members.
food relief along the military highway
The MFFIC officially welcomed the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore (FSEVA) as its newest, full-time participant.
FSEVA is a well-known player in the fight against hunger and a strong advocate and partner for military families as they serve the largest Naval base in the world in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The food bank continues to partner with MFAN in hosting drive-thru food distribution events for local military families.
Our Promise to Combat Military Hunger
Since the MFFIC last met in December 2021, MFAN officially distributed over 1 million meals nationwide to military families in need through the 1 Million Meals Challenge. This milestone was reached in large part by the support of coalition participants and our work is not yet finished.
MFAN staff Highlighted the following:
- Impact made on food insecure military communities
- Plans to further alleviate hunger in 2022
- Opportunities for coalition participants to get involved and collaborate
- A glimpse into food insecurity causal factor research findings
- Types of data that will be coming out of the biennial Military Family Support Programming Survey
MFAN has been tracking the issue of food insecurity in the military for years. In the 2017 Military Family Support Programming Survey, MFAN found that 15% of military and veteran families have faced food insecurity within their military career.
In 2018, MFAN took action by creating the Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition, a group of now over 40 military-connected nonprofits, advocacy and education organizations, policymakers, subject matter experts, industry leaders, food banks, and more.
The MFFIC currently meets quarterly to share research and resources, raise awareness, and develop solutions to food insecurity among our military and veteran communities.
Send referrals/requests to join, recommend a discussion topic, or submit a presentation request to Derek Doyle, associate director of government and public affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.