Meeting Basic Needs Locally
As a national nonprofit, we uncover challenges that military families face globally. Our research, agility, and peer advisory board have positioned us at the forefront of local and national conversations, which has led to policy changes, program development, and national collaboratives.
As we look at our data, we know that not all struggles that military families face can be solved on a national level. Many problems, including food insecurity, require local solutions. As we continue to shine a light on this issue on the national stage, we are also teaming with partners to meet the real needs of military families where they live.
Here’s how we will move ahead together:
- Measuring Families’ Experiences. Scientific research informs everything we do. In three national studies, we have explored food insecurity among military families. Before the COVID-19 pandemic turned life upside down, 1 in 8 of the families who participated in our research was experiencing food insecurity. The results from our 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey showed that 1 in 6 military families are food insecure. Measuring families’ experiences enables us to create data-informed programs that can measure impact and change.
- Building a Road Map to Prevention. The issue of food insecurity is complex, especially for military families. To work toward prevention, we must answer the question, “Why are military families experiencing food insecurity?” We are conducting intensive research to answer that question, ultimately enabling our doctoral-level researchers to team with program experts to develop a road map to prevention.
- Convening Leaders and Stakeholders. Collaboration is at the heart of our mission. We believe in teaming with best-in-class partners who share our goal of meaningful impact. This is most clearly demonstrated by our coalitions, including the Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition.
- Evaluating Impact. The goal is to find solutions to food insecurity. Throughout all these efforts, we will continually track the changes we are making toward understanding food insecurity and meeting military and veteran families’ other needs.
Highlighting Challenges Nationally
Frequent moves and separations, living far from family support systems, and challenges with child care and employment are just a few of the issues that military families face. But did you know? Some military families don’t qualify for the top resource that many Americans rely on for food assistance. Many military families are ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. Along with our partners, we will continue to shine a light on this issue. No family should have to go without food.
Combat military hunger task force
MFAN continues to lead the way in both understanding and responding to food insecurity among military and veteran families. In 2021, MFAN and our partners distributed over 1 million meals nationwide to military and veteran families in need.
Our food distribution events are a rapid response to a growing need, but we also recognize the need to prioritize a long-term, viable model. That’s why we created the Combat Military Hunger Task Force, a group of the world’s leading food industry companies who will work to identify the most efficient, scalable, and sustainable methods of delivering food directly into the hands of military families who need it most.
Founding participants include American Logistics Association, Coastal Pacific Food Distributors, Coast Produce Company, Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Del Monte Foods, EURPAC, Kellogg’s, Military Resale Small Business Coalition (MRSBC), Nestlé USA, Robert Irvine Foods, SpartanNash, and Tyson Foods.