WOODBRIDGE, Va., Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As the nation braces for a second wave of the pandemic, so does an often-overlooked vulnerable population—young military families. The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), the oldest military support organization in the United States, has provided 850,000 pounds of emergency food relief to junior enlisted service members and their families since March, with a goal of delivering one million pounds of food by year end.
“Our junior military service members already face unique challenges such as stress from frequent moves and being separated from their loved ones during deployment, which is exacerbated by the pandemic,” said RDML Charles Williams, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and ASYMCA Chief Operations and Programs Officer. “A strong military requires a strong military family, and it’s our responsibility to provide critical support when they need it most.”
Thirty-four percent of military families have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19-related job losses by military spouses. As a result, many young military families face food insecurity without this vital second income.
To meet the increased demand, Armed Services YMCA branches coast to coast have stepped up their emergency food assistance programs. On the west coast, ASYMCA of San Diego increased the frequency of their food distribution from monthly to weekly. ASYMCA of Killeen, serving Fort Hood, will deliver bags of food to young military families in need on Friday, November 20th, as part of the Holiday Joy food distribution campaign. Moreover, on the east coast, ASYMCA Fort Bragg has been distributing pantry boxes curbside since March.
To kickoff the campaign, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation announced that it will match donations made to ASYMCA between now and December 31st up to $20,000. Donate here.
“It takes an entire community to stop hunger,” said Roxanne Moore, Executive Director of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. “By matching donations, we hope to encourage more citizens and community members to engage around this important issue and help feed more military families this holiday season.”
The Armed Services YMCA provides direct services to military personnel that include no or low-cost child care, food relief and youth development programs through its 12 ASYMCA Branches and dozens of affiliates, serving 93 military installations across the country. To learn more, visit www.asymca.org.
Contact: Dorene Ocamb
SOURCE Armed Services YMCA