WASHINGTON — Twenty four percent of active duty military personnel experienced food insecurity at some point in the past year, according to the most recent Defense Department survey.
The DOD study found that for enlisted members with an unemployed spouse, 43 percent reported food insecurity.
The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Wednesday brought together the public and private sectors to develop a coordinated national strategy.
Military Family Advisory Network President and Executive Director Shannon Razsadin talked about the contributing reasons for the problem, which include military members' constant moves and resulting spouse under-employment.
"We're not choosing to move. It's not just because we like to do it for for fun. It's because this is what the country requires us to do." she said.
Razsadin went on to say that another reason is military members' pride.
"One of the key challenges I think we really are poised to address is stigma related to it," she said. "There is this culture of resilience in the military community [that] can make it really hard for people to ask for help."
The DOD this year produced the "Strengthening Food Security in the Force: Strategy and Roadmap."
Plans in the document include analyzing the Basic Allowance for Housing, improving employment opportunities for military spouses and expanding the availability of affordable child care services.