About one in eight military families used food banks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the more than 8,000 military families who applied for child care subsidies from the National Military Family Association in the spring of 2021, about 13% of those used a food pantry in the past year. Most families identified in the data averaged one or two kids, and almost two-thirds were dual income. Military support group surveys show that the majority of military spouses are underemployed or struggle to find work due to hiring discrimination as a result of frequent relocations and gaps in their resumes.
While there were expected conclusions from the recent study, rising higher in rank lessened the odds of needing the use of food bank, while having more children increased the risk, the data also revealed that Asian, Black, and multiracial families were about 50% more likely to use food distribution services compared to white families.
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16% of military families across all ranks, 26% of enlisted families and 4% of officer families reported experiencing food insecurity, and active-duty families of color twice the level of as their white, non-hispanic counterparts. [2022 MFLS]
Good morning Ryan!
I live someplace with a high cost of living. Base command recently implemented a food pantry available to everyone on the post that I live on. I know many families that have used the base food pantry at least once. My base also gave away a ton of turkeys/meals last week to as many families as possible so everyone could have a family meal this coming weekend. I also recently spoke with a spouse who expressed frustration about being unable to find work due to being a military spouse. So many spouses want to work, but finding adequate employment can be difficult.
Thank you for sharing your insight on this situation that is impacting so many people.
That's great that your installation opened a food pantry. So many families need, or at the very least could use, the assistance and having a facility that is open to all is helpful in de-stigmatizing food insecurity.
In talking about spouse unemployment, it is no secret that military spouses face hiring discrimination. It is also worth noting that just like the rising expense of everything else, childcare expenses can be astronomical. So, while milspouses are facing hiring discrimination due to their military background, many are forced to accept positions that may not even cover childcare expenses, or continue to stay at home because the available jobs do not contribute to their family's income.
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