Identifying the Challenge
We no longer live in a world where families typically exist on one income, and military families are no different. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting inflation, many are struggling to feed their families—both military and civilian. But the unique circumstances of military life mean that military families are particularly vulnerable to economic downturns. Due to the nature of military life, military spouses are unemployed and underemployed at 6 times the rate of their civilian counterparts. The frequent moves required by the military can create barriers to career advancement, and many military spouses work retail and service jobs with low wages and unpredictable hours. These challenges often put childcare out of reach—which means many military families continue to live off one income.
Lockheed Martin is helping the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) to address the challenges of military life by ensuring ASYMCA Food Pantries can meet the needs of military families struggling to make ends meet on a single income.
Making an Impact
Access to ASYMCA food security programs enable military families to take control of their financial well-being. When the Armed Services YMCA provides no-cost food assistance and low-cost childcare, military families can extend their budget to cover other critical needs.
In addition to financial factors, food insecurity also has an impact on our service members’ mission readiness and general health. Not having enough food for their family means active-duty service members worry about the health and well-being of their family, reducing their focus on the job at hand. Food insecurity can also contribute to malnutrition, depression, and difficulty managing certain health issues like hypertension and diabetes. ASYMCA Food security programs help to combat these challenges by providing military families access to healthy, well-balanced, shelf-stable foods. Our goal is to ensure no military family goes hungry or is forced to turn to cheap, heavily processed foods to eat within their budget. These food security programs break the cycle of need and increase the ability to maintain peak physical and mental well-being which are essential for military personnel to stay mission-ready, for their spouses to shoulder the demands of day-to-day life, and for their children to grow and develop.
Lockheed Martin leads by example as they partner with the ASYMCA to ensure that no military family goes hungry. They support food security programs at 11 of our 12 branches, providing ongoing, sustainable access to food for over 33,000 military families, with almost 1 million pounds of food distributed to date. Lockheed Martin’s support of the Armed Services YMCA is building bridges for military families that connect them to the resources they need to remain resilient and mission-ready.