Many Americans may not realize that the military community faces food insecurity. Prior to the pandemic, 14% of military families reported not having enough food to feed their families, compared to 11% of all Americans. Like many things, the pandemic exacerbated a number of challenges for families, and the military community was no exception.
The latest reports show that today 29% of junior enlisted military families say they are food insecure. About half of E1-E6 military families are married and have young children.
To help junior enlisted families worry less about food and focus on mission readiness, the ASYMCA has significantly expanded emergency food assistance for military families.
- ASYMCA of Alaska operates three food pantries across the state and is available by appointment during weekdays.
- Prior to COVID-19, ASYMCA of San Diego served an average of 400 families per month - now they serve an average of 400 families a week during its drive-through distribution events.
- Monthly food distribution is provided by ASYMCA at Camp Pendleton in their parking lot.
- ASYMCA at Twentynine Palms operates the Pelican Shop food pantry for military families in need.
- ASYMCA of Hawaii distributes food through on-site food pantries and monthly Ohana Food Drops.
- ASYMCA at Fort Bragg provides a drive-up food distribution service where military families schedule a time to stop at the branch to receive food items in their trunk.
- ASYMCA of El Paso provides food through its food pantry at the Junior Enlisted Family Center on post and a pantry and drive-through service at their office location.
- ASYMCA of Killeen serves the Fort Hood community by providing turkeys and food items for holiday meals for 350 junior enlisted families for the last 13 years.
ASYMCA Branches at Fort Campbell and Fort Leonard Wood have temporarily suspended food distribution at this time.