In central Pennsylvania, more than 20 percent of households facing food insecurity have at least one thing in common: a family member who has served, or is currently serving, in the military.
With food insecurity affecting so many military families, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank created ‘MilitaryShare’ — food assistance for veterans. Incredibly, the program has supported more than 45,000 people.
Why do veterans struggle with food insecurity?
Food insecurity among veterans can occur for many reasons. Unemployment is often a leading factor.
Despite veterans possessing a great mixture of soft, hard, and technical skills, it can still be difficult to secure jobs.
Reintegrating into society can also be challenging. This also contributes to food insecurity, with many veterans dealing with physical injuries and mental illness after returning home.
When you pair these challenges with a lack of low-cost housing, food insecurity becomes a significant issue.
How do food banks help veterans?
Food banks offer great support by providing nutritious food to veterans and other folks in need. However, some food banks go the extra mile by creating dedicated veteran-support programs.
For example, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank developed MilitaryShare. They offer dedicated support to all military branches, prior service, reservist, or inactive ready reserve.
According to the MilitaryShare website: “For the convenience and privacy of the individuals and families served, MilitaryShare distributions take place on-site at armories, VFW and AMVET locations throughout the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s 27 county service area. There are currently 28 distribution sites in central Pennsylvania.”
The program supplies a wide range of fresh produce and other nutritious food, including: eggs, milk, cheese and other pantry staples. Meat, fish and poultry are also provided, when possible.
Beyond providing for people’s basic needs, the program serves a deeper mission: “Veterans and members of the military help us in our nation’s time of need. It’s critical that we help them in theirs. They fought for our freedom. By providing them with food to feed their families, we are fighting for their future.”
How do AnswerForce customers help?
Thanks to the loyalty of our customers, the AnswerForce Giving Back program is able to support MilitaryShare and many other food banks nationwide. This month, the program enabled 21,000 meals to be distributed by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
None of this would be possible without our wonderful customers, so thank you!
To learn more about how the Giving Back program supports communities, please visit answerforce.com/giving-back.