Food and Economic Security

Discover how MFAN’s latest effort, the MFANetwork, supports military family well-being by building healthy bodies, families, homes, and futures.

 

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Through multiple research efforts and shared experiences over the past decade, MFAN recognizes that too many military families struggle to make ends meet.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we have been able to provide immediate relief to those in need, conduct research to understand the underlying factors, and convene change makers to create a lasting impact.

As we continue to work toward dignified solutions that address the root causes, we are proud to share our next step in combating food insecurity, the MFANetwork

What is food insecurity?

When families are unable to consistently afford or access adequate meals, they face a challenge known as food insecurity.

According to our latest research, nearly a fifth (16.6%) of military and veteran families face this challenge — skipping meals, choosing between buying food or paying rent, and leaning on food pantries for support when times are particularly tough.

No military family should ever have to worry where their next meal is coming from. But for some, that’s the reality.

2017

15% of survey respondents reported food insecurity

2019

One in eight military and veteran families were experiencing food insecurity

2021

During COVID-19, one in five military and veteran families were food insecure

2022

One in six military and veteran families were food insecure

“INSTEAD OF HAVING THREE MEALS A DAY, WE ATE TWO. SOMETIMES, WE SLEPT IN LATE SO WE COULD BEAT THE HUNGER AND EAT ONCE A DAY.”

– Spouse of a post-9/11 veteran

I WON’T EAT IF IT MEANS MY KIDS CAN EAT. MY HUSBAND IS THE SOLDIER, AND HE NEEDS THE FOOD MORE THAN MYSELF AS WELL.

– Active duty Army spouse

CBS Evening News: Military families are increasingly turning to food banks

Military families move, on average, every two-and-a-half years. And every time families move, there’s a complete restart. That means looking for a new job, finding new childcare, getting set up with new schools, finding a new home.

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Cox Media Group: Military families struggling with food insecurity

“People assume that if you’re in the military you’re taken care of, but the reality is that families in some cases are struggling and they’re having a hard time making ends meet,” says MFAN’s Shannon Razsadin.

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Things That Go Boom: Are military families really going hungry?

Food insecurity in the force… and what we can do about it. New research shows that one-in-six military families don’t have consistent access to healthy food. So, how is it that service members and their families are finding basic necessities out of reach?

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More Food and Economic Security Topics

Food Assistance

MFAN and our partners host food distributions throughout the nation to provide immediate relief to food insecure military families.

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Our Impact on Food Insecurity

We are committed to providing both big-picture solutions and immediate on-the-ground assistance to military families.

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Military Food Insecurity Statistics

Our research consistently shows that military families have been quietly struggling with food insecurity.

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RESOURCES

“Food Matters” Webinar

How to stock your pantry, build a balanced plate, and avoid waste. Nutrition professionals teach you how to prepare nutritious meals and avoid food waste for your family.

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WIC for Military Families

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and children from birth to age five.

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WHAT MILITARY FAMILIES SHOULD KNOW: FEDERAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS

Did you know there are programs to help provide healthy meals to your military family? Learn more about SNAP, WIC, Summer Food Service Program, National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and more.

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MilMap: Connect to community & find support

Let us connect you with the organizations, programs, and events that help you navigate military family life.

MilMap can help you find support for your military move, resources for kids, employment support, health and wellness information, crisis resources, and much more.

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