Food Insecurity Strikes Veteran

Food insecurity can exist among anyone, even those who sacrificed and have become military veterans.

Bobby, from a small town called Coon Island, knew it was in the cards for him to join the military. With most of his family serving or have served, Bobby went on to serve 10 years in the Air Force.

Bobby waiting in line to pick up food at National Guard Armory in Poplar Bluff, MO.

It was from there he received his education and training to become a hospital lab tech outside of the military.

For Bobby and his family, everything was going well until November 2020, when he was let go from his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We struggled for a good while because of it,” Bobby said.

Although Bobby was fortunate enough to regain his employment in the recent months, his family is still playing catch up. To add on to matters, Bobby is helping support his one of his daughter’s family as well.

“We’re still catching up a bit, plus I’m taking care of my other daughter’s family due to their loss of work,” Bobby said.

The food Bobby and his family receive from the monthly food distributions through the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center have helped them dearly through their struggles over the past year.

“This food means a lot to us especially at the end of the month because the bills still come in,” Bobby said. “It’s been a Godsend, it truly has.”

This especially rings true for the previous and upcoming holiday season where food is needed the most.

“Oh man, you can’t imagine how much it helped,” Bobby said. “It’s a really good thing they started this program because a lot of people struggle.”

Some military families and veterans may not be accessing charitable food or benefits due to stigma. Veterans also face much higher rates of chronic illness such as heart disease​ than civilians, which we know is linked to food insecurity. (Source: Feeding America)

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