It turns out that those who serve our country are in need of our help in return. Feeding America, an umbrella organization of food banks, pantries, and other hunger-fighting nonprofits, released a survey that found that one in seven Americans has relied on their help in 2013, and that one-quarter of all American military households rely on food banks, pantries, and other nonprofits to get by. That’s 620,000 households with at least one active military member who are struggling just to feed their families. Military families in general (with family members who are active, or have ever been in the military) make up 20 percent of the households served by Feeding America.
But the people behind Feeding America have found that these are tough times for families, whether or not they currently have a spouse or child in the armed forces.
“Between things like food and paying for their utilities, food and paying for transportation, food and paying for medicine or housing," Feeding America representative Maura Daly told NPR, explaining that "these are literally choices that people have to make between eating, putting a roof over their head, [or] keeping the lights on."
But is the survey accurate? The Pentagon released a statement in response to the survey results saying, “The Department of Defense disagrees with the methodology that Feeding America used to calculate the estimated percentage of military households served by its food assistance programs,” and claiming that military benefits are comparable to those held by the private sector.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi