That’s why the Military Family Advisory Network is committed to helping provide more meals to families in need across the country. To date, we’ve distributed more than 45,000 pounds of food—and thanks to an outpouring of support, recent coverage from the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, and partners like Tyson Foods, we are working now to provide more.
For years, MFAN has been tracking food insecurity and hunger in the military community. Our research consistently shows that military families have been struggling, but we also know that they have been doing so quietly. In 2019, one in eight of our national survey respondents was food insecure, and there were pockets of the country, like Washington State where that number rose to one in five. The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded those issues.
Connect to Resources
If you’re worried about putting food on your table, there’s help available. Here are some great local and national resources meant to help families make sure that food isn’t something they have to worry about.
MFAN relies on the generosity of its donors to advance its mission and help military families put food on the table. Help us connect military families to the resources, people, and information they depend on to not just survive, but thrive.
Since March 2020, when COVID-19 consumed our lives, much has changed. Take three minutes to share your own experiences and help MFAN and our partners focus on the support you need.
“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
Delivering Food Where it is Needed Most
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.
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?
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.
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 launched 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