Feed Our Vets primary mission is to feed hungry Veterans and their family members, but many people don’t know that we also feed active duty military families. In this recent article by NBC news, they highlight the hidden national issue of food insecurity among active duty military families.
From NBC News:
Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Yetter, a Navy sailor for 17 years, works a second job as a security guard and donates blood plasma twice a week to help make ends meet for his family. Deployed seven times during his military career, including an extended 19-month tour to Iraq, Yetter squeezes in family time with his three young boys and his wife in-between jobs.
To save money, the Yetters recently moved off base into a two-bedroom apartment they share with another sailor and his two sons, who stay there part time. Despite their penny-pinching efforts, the Yetters have been living paycheck-to-paycheck for many years as they work to get rid of debt accumulated over everyday expenses like car repairs and gas and the costs of caring for an autistic son. They often visit food pantries to keep their kitchen stocked.
“We’re doing everything we can possibly think to be doing and we’re barely making it,” said Adam’s wife, Lindsey, 36. (Adam declined comment). She accesses many local pantries, uses money-saving strategies and has met with a financial adviser to get the family budget into the black, but they’re stuck, she said.
“You’re robbing Peter to pay Paul most of the time,” said Yetter, a teaching assistant at a preschool.
Yetter’s family is among the 620,000 households that include at least one soldier, reservist or guardsman – or 25 percent of the nation’s total active duty and reserve personnel – that are seeking aid from food pantries and other charitable programs across the country, according to a rare inquiry about the food insecurity of troops and veterans conducted by Feeding America, a hunger relief charity, (study released August 18th). Another 2.37 million households including veterans receive assistance from food pantries that are part of Feeding America’s network (this figure doesn’t include households where both a former and current service member reside).
Feed Our Vets is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help Veterans in the United States, their spouses and children, whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger, and to involve the public in fighting Veteran hunger, through: (1) Community food pantries that provide regular, free food to Veterans and their families, (2) Distribution of related goods and services, (3) Public education and outreach.