Feeding America: Food insecurity in the military


Fort Gordon, GA (WJBF)- Food insecurity is an increasingly large problem and military families are not exempt. The pandemic has only added to the problem.

It’s fairly widespread especially among young, lower ranked service members and their families. While data on food insecurity in military families is low, a recent study shows 20 percent of those families that participated reported at least some food insecurity.

“We have helped over 11 hundred families and we have helped over 22 hundred children,” said Lori Pflieger, Vice President of The Christmas House.

The Christmas House is an organization at Fort Gordon that provided toys to low income military families at Christmas. Pflieger tells NewsChannel 6 this year they are excited to be able to provide a Christmas meal as well through a partnership with Golden Harvest Food Bank.

“They’re going to try to give a box to every family that comes through The Christmas House, which is going to be phenomenal,” she smiled.

Golden Harvest executive director Amy Brietmann thinks it’s important for people to realize that military families struggle with food insecurity too.

“You’re seeing young families who are struggling financially, just paycheck to paycheck trying to piece together a budget, being inexperienced in that process,” Brietmann explained.

The military has programs in place starting with commanders to identify those who are struggling and get them help.

“What our program focuses on is education and prevention. We try to get soldiers when they first come to Fort Gordon. They’re required to get a budget overview. We sit down with a financial counselor and to kind of look at some red flags and concerns,” said James Millwood with the Financial Readiness Program on post.

Breitmann said Golden Harvest is looking forward to partnering with Fort Gordon and helping service members in need.

“We’re really excited to be linking arms with the leadership at Fort Gordon. It means a lot to us to be able to provide… come alongside The Christmas House and the school system and wherever we can to make sure that we’re not… that those folks that are struggling are not invisible.”

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