Armed Services YMCA
COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance
Military families face unique challenges to food security, including high rates of spousal unemployment and barriers to accessing SNAP benefits. Prior to the pandemic, the Military Family Advisory Network reported that military and veteran families experience food insecurity at a higher rate than their civilian counterparts, and that nearly 28% of military families with children were receiving free or reduced meals at school. The Blue Star Families COVID-19 Pain Points Poll found that 27 percent of military spouses had lost the job they held prior to the pandemic, and an additional 15 percent had to reduce work hours or were unable to work within the first 10 weeks of the pandemic. The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) provides free and low-cost programs and services for military families, promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for ASYMCA’s Emergency Food Assistance program has increased exponentially. This BWF grant will reduce hunger among at least 2,500 junior enlisted military families by providing emergency food distribution in San Diego, Camp Pendleton, Twenty-Nine Palms, El Paso, Fort Lawton, Fort Campbell, Hampton Roads, and Fort Bragg.