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Food help extends to military members

Melissa Sobolik, Great Plains Food Bank CEO

At the Great Plains Food Bank we believe that everyone should have the food they need to be healthy and successful, and that our communities and our country are strongest when everyone has enough to eat.

While hunger hides in plain sight, one in six of our neighbors sought food assistance last year, including an often-surprising group – active military members and their families. According to the Blue Star Families survey, as many as 125,000 of the brave people serving in the U.S. military struggle to ensure their families have food on their table- nearly equal to the population of Fargo. They are faced with several obstacles including high rates of unemployment for military spouses due to the transitory nature of the military, high cost of living near many military bases and high costs of childcare.

Those who protect and serve our country shouldn’t have to worry about feeding their families.

One step we can take as a nation is to ask Congress to create a Military Family Basic Needs Allowance (MFBNA), which would provide a monthly allowance for service members, whose income is less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level, much needed nutrition assistance.

We want to extend our appreciation to Senator Kevin Cramer who recently co-sponsored a bill (S. 1488) that would do just that. Ending hunger, including military hunger, is a top priority for us, but we can’t do it alone. We applaud the efforts of Senator Cramer and his colleagues and urge Congress to pass and fund a Military Families Basic Needs Allowance.

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