Military Families, Advocates Urge White House Conference on Hunger to Address Their Concerns on Food Insecurity

September 27, 2022

The National Military Family Association (NMFA) and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger have long worked together to fight rising hunger and food insecurity in the military community and ensure America’s service members have the resources they need to feed their families.

Now, advocates, policy makers, philanthropists, and military families are urging the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health to address rising hunger and food insecurity among military families, in a series of new videos.

According to the Department of Defense, an unacceptable 24% of military families are food insecure – there is a food pantry on or near every single US military base. Worse, the 2022 Military Teen Experience Survey by the National Military Family Association found that almost half (46%) of military teens reported experiencing some level of food insecurity over the past month.

The White House conference will address food insecurity at the highest levels, which presents an important opportunity to raise that military families face more bureaucracy and barriers than civilians to the central federal food program, SNAP, and other supplemental benefits. In the military community, which traditionally values strength and self-reliance, there are also pervasive social stigmas around food insecurity.

Solutions aren’t out of reach: strong implementation of the Basic Needs Allowance could help struggling military families ensure that their families are fed.

NMFA and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger are sharing video messages from partners, leaders, and those with lived experience to urge long-term solutions to military hunger, and to urge bold action at the upcoming White House conference.

Joining NMFA CEO Besa Pinchotti and MAZON President and CEO Abby J. Leibman in the video are:

Senator Tim Kaine
Congressman Salud Carbajal
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland
Congresswoman Sara Jacobs
Congressman Adam Smith
Congressman Andy Kim
California State Senator Senator Bob Archuleta
Craig Newmark, philanthropist and founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Policy experts Deputy Director of Government Relations Eileen Huck and MAZON Vice President of Policy Josh Protas

Also speaking out are former Navy spouse Erika Tebbens and 2022 Army Spouse of the Year Monica Bassett.

The 2022 White House Conference will catalyze the public and private sectors around a coordinated strategy to accelerate progress and drive transformative change to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and close the social disparities at their roots.

To learn more about the experience of military hunger, read MAZON’s latest report.