We believe that no military family, or any family for that matter, should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. But unfortunately, too many are experiencing food insecurity – the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Military families, in particular, are left to decide between adequate food and things like rent, bills, or emergency expenses. Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice.
MFAN has been tracking hunger among the military community for years and our latest research shows that one in six military families are experiencing food insecurity. That’s why we remain committed to providing both immediate support and long-lasting solutions. We moved quickly to work with partners around the country to host food distribution events, while regularly convening our Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition and launching the Combat Military Hunger Task Force. These efforts have created a foundation of long overdue support that is needed by so many in the military community.
However, we cannot do this work alone.
Hunger Action Month is a call to action. It serves as a reminder to do what we can to help others. For those who want to support, where do you even begin? Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. raise awareness
The first step to creating solutions is to educate yourself and others on the problem. Many do not know the prevalence of food insecurity among our country, or even within their local community.
- Find the facts: Look for data surrounding food insecurity and locate reputable sources.
- Set up your social: Follow organizations who are working on this issue – these can be local food banks, hunger relief groups, or national nonprofits.
- Share the information: Pass along this blog, re-share posts, or even create your own message to inform others and highlight opportunities to get involved.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to step up in your community! Local food banks are always looking for additional support. After all, many food distributions aren’t possible without volunteers. You can get involved by promoting an event, packaging bundles beforehand, distributing items, and more. By sharing your time, you can help ensure that more families are served and receive the items they need.
To find your next volunteer opportunity, find a food bank near you.
3. Donate food or Money
Due to the urgent need in so many communities, food banks are constantly searching for items to fill their pantries. They will happily take donated food items, as well as household goods to distribute. If you are looking to donate items, reach out to your local food bank first to make sure you bring what truly fits the need.
Another option is to support an organization financially. Many food banks are lucky to have direct relationships with places that allow their money to go further – giving them more bang for their buck and more food for more families. This is a great option to provide support while allowing the food bank to use the donations in the most efficient manner.
You can also donate to local or national nonprofit organizations, like MFAN, who are working to combat hunger. To donate in support of our food insecurity efforts, click here.
Together, we can do so much. Join us this Hunger Action Month and make a difference!