What is food insecurity?
When families are unable to consistently afford or access adequate meals, they face a challenge known as food insecurity.
Nearly a fifth (16.6%) of military and veteran families are facing 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.
15% of survey respondents reported food insecurity
One in eight military and veteran families were experiencing food insecurity
During COVID-19, one in five military and veteran families were food insecure
One in six military and veteran families were food insecure
From 2021-2022, MFAN and our partners distributed over 1.5 million meals nationwide through our 1 Million Meals Challenge, launched a task force with the world’s leading food brands, and conducted critical research to uncover the causal factors that place military families at the greatest risk of food insecurity.
Thanks to our generous supporters, we have served thousands of military families in need. But our work is not yet done.
Why do military families experience food insecurity?
In 2022, MFAN released a first-of-its-kind study, “Causal Factors of Military and Veteran Family Food Insecurity,” to better understand what leads a service member or veteran and their family to the point of food insecurity. The key themes to emerge include recent moves, growing families, military spouse unemployment, and unexpected expenses.
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.
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.
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?
More Food Insecurity Topics
MFAN and our partners host food distributions throughout the nation to provide immediate relief to food insecure military families.
Our Impact on Food Insecurity
We are committed to providing both big-picture solutions and immediate on-the-ground assistance to military families.
“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.
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.
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.