Food insecurity within nation’s military needs our attention
Most of us are celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with family members and enjoying bountiful meals, but what about approximately 160,000 families of active-duty military personnel who cannot afford to feed their families?
The food insecurity primarily impacts the most junior enlisted service members from the E1 to E4 ranks. According to the organization Feed America, approximately 30% of these military members face food insecurity.
The lowest military ranks suffer with low pay along with high living costs at many base locations in the United States. The frequent moves required by the military makes it difficult for spouses to find work. Additionally, an Agriculture Department rule prevents military families from accessing food stamps.
Although there are charitable organizations providing some assistance, I am sure our military personnel prefer not to access charities for food. Maybe the Defense Department should review the pay rates for junior enlisted ranks and also provide increased living expense funding for high cost-of-living locations.
The food insecurity can adversely impact our military members and their families and could have negative effects on our national security.
Note: In the 1950s, I was a Navy enlisted E1 with promotions to E2, E3, E4 and E5.