SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Food banks have relied on the National Guard to help distribute food, but some military families themselves have also been needing help.
“People are still struggling to get ahead right now,” said Jordan Browning, with Ozarks Food Harvest (OFH). “And we want to make sure people do not have to make that decision right now between paying for utilities and paying for prescriptions and paying for food”
Browning said OFH serves military families through partner agencies around Fort Leonard Wood. A recent study by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families said 30% to 40% of all active duty personnel face food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic.
“It is such a multi-faceted issue that it is hard to unpack a single identifying factor,” said Browning. “But whe know with military families sometimes we know it can be a struggle, whether it be they have one parent working or that they have to move often and things like that, that can really put a struggle on finances like that.”
OFH said it doesn’t have exact numbers on military families because they help everyone without asking where they work.
“We don’t anticipate that need doing down anytime soon,” said Browning. “So, and people are still recovering from the pandemic, we need to continue to give them food so that they can get back on their feet.”
According to OFH, one in seven adults in the Ozarks is food insecure.