Nearly 40,000 Western Washington soldiers, former soldiers, and their families will receive food assistance this year. Their compensation for service doesn’t cover the cost of the food they need.
Food Lifeline convened a virtual townhall June 1 that featured video testimonials of two military families currently facing food insecurity alongside a roster of lawmakers and leaders in hunger relief including:
- Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland;
- Tracie Squire, MSN, RN, Nurse Program Coordinator, National Food Security Program Office, Veterans Health Administration
- Ahndrea Blue JD, President & CEO, Making a Difference Foundation/ Eloise’s Cooking Pot
- State Representative Clyde Shavers
- Olivia Burley, Washington State Military Spouse Liaison, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
We want to say a huge thank you to our panelists for being a part of this important conversation. Read the Speaker Bios here.
“We’re proud to host this dedicated campaign that not only works to win real improvements for military and veteran families, but also works to unite the community of support that surrounds them,” said Food Lifeline President & CEO Linda Nageotte.
Many issues contribute to food insecurity in military families across Washington, but a few key factors drove much of the discussion. They included how military allowances for families living off-base can count against their eligibility to receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), barriers to accessing childcare, the stigma associated with seeking assistance in a culture where self-sufficiency is a predominant value, and low pay for enlisted members that inadequately accounts for regional variations in living expenses across the US.
This town hall continues Food Lifeline’s campaign to promote awareness and advocacy about food security for Washington’s active-duty military service members, veterans, and their families.
Read the Legislative background here.
Watch the June 1 Military Family Hunger Town Hall: