According to Feeding America, a charity organization advocating to end hunger in the United States, the U.S. Department of Defense reported nearly 24% of active-duty service members and their families to experience food insecurity.
Feeding America cited possible causes of hunger among military members.
Some low-ranking active-duty military members earn less than $40,000 per year. It can be difficult to afford food at the end of the month if you have a low income and supporting a family.
Uncertainty in the cost-of-living
Active members usually cannot choose where they are located. There is a possibility of being assigned to cities with a very high cost of living. The salaries, housing, and other benefits may be unable to afford the daily expenses.
Some service members may have financial difficulties due to monthly bills and loan commitments. After paying the financial obligations, the leftover money may be unable to afford food.
Military spouse’s inability to find regular work
Spouses of active members have difficulty maintaining their regular job as active members are often required to move from base to base. This situation is especially challenging for family members with jobs requiring licenses that differ by state, such as nurses, hairdressers, or teachers. Usually, the family members have no choice but to rely on the single income of the service member.
This poses another financial problem as supporting a family with only one income source and being an active military member, money can be very tight.
The government is doing its best to support active military members. Around 2% of active-duty members also qualify for SNAP benefits; however, around 7% of military members experience food insecurity.
Other nongovernment organizations like Feeding America network food banks also offer services to mitigate food insecurity. The charity partners with other organizations to make it easier for active-duty military members and their families to access the food they need.