MILITARY FAMILYFOOD INSECURITY
“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.”
– Army spouse, MFAN 2019 Military Family Support Programming Survey
In 2018, the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN), founded the Military Family Food Insecurity Coalition to create a comprehensive response to a complicated problem. The Coalition consists of the Food Research and Action Center, American Red Cross, National Military Family Association, National WIC Association, United Service Organizations, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Unite Us, Feeding America, United Way, Armed Services YMCA, and the Military Family Advisory Network.
After two years of collaboration and a national research effort, MFAN has learned more about the persisting challenges regarding food security. Our team now understands the severity of food insecurity among military families, and the geographic and demographic groups that are experiencing the most difficulties. What we need to understand next is why—why are military families experiencing food insecurity? What are the root causes? To answer these questions, MFAN is launching a regional strategy that will uncover the underlying causes of food insecurity where the data tell us to start: Texas. This effort is an opportunity to examine and understand food insecurity in the military community, break down stigma, and ultimately flip the script.
Combatting Military Family Hunger in Texas
Until individuals’ basic needs are met, they cannot thrive. Data from the past two iterations of MFAN’s Military Family Support Programming Survey make it clear that Texas-based respondents have the highest frequency of food insecurity of survey respondents nationally. We must ask ourselves:
WHY ARE MILITARY FAMILIES EXPERIENCING FOOD INSECURITY?
WHAT ARE THEY DOING WHEN THEIR FAMILIES FACE HUNGER?
WHAT CAN WE DO TO FIX THIS?
Armed with that information, we will respond—together. We will convene best-in-class organizations and empower them with a roadmap that will guide us as we address the root causes of food insecurity in local communities across Texas. In a time when food insecurity is part of a national dialogue, we have the opportunity to come together, meet an urgent need, and ultimately flip the script, paving the way for scalable solutions for fighting food insecurity nationwide. Learn more about MFAN’s regional strategy here.
Meeting Basic Needs, Locally
As a national nonprofit, MFAN has uncovered challenges that face military families globally. Our research, agility, and peer advisory board have positioned us at the forefront of 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 can be solved on a national stage. Many problems require local solutions—this is true for food insecurity. MFAN is starting where the data tells us to begin: Texas. Here’s how we will move ahead together:
Understanding the baseline
Release of a comprehensive report that sheds light on current challenges and areas where we need to learn more.
This event is scheduled for November 19, 2020 at 1p.m. CT.
Building a roadmap to prevention
MFAN will work with the advisory council partners to develop a roadmap for stakeholders that provides a path forward. This plan will be shared widely and will include both an immediate response for families with insufficient food to eat, and long-term solutions to ultimately eliminate the need by addressing root causes.
Complex problems require creative, collaborative, impactful solutions. Through an on-going system of assessment and feedback, MFAN will use what we learn to continue to update and improve our efforts. This rigor will serve the Texans and the region that will follow… Norfolk, Virginia.
Convening leaders & stakeholders
This type of work requires collaboration. MFAN is forming an Advisory Council that will bring together best-in-class leaders and organizations that play a vital role in the health and well-being of military and veteran families.
If you are interested in joining, please contact
Learning root causes
In January 2021, MFAN will launch a comprehensive research effort designed to uncover the underlying causes of food insecurity among military and veteran families in Texas. We will learn about their journeys and the path that led to food insecurity.
If you have a story to tell, please contact