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Feeding San Diego supports military members and their families struggling with hunger

As many as 24% of active-duty service members and their families experience food insecurity in the United States.

SAN DIEGO — Veterans and active-duty military families make significant sacrifices–some even paying the ultimate price–but not having access to basic nutrition should not have to be one of them.

Yet, that's exactly what dozens of military families find themselves struggling with daily, because of the high cost of living and with limited income.

“For the first few months of our kids' life I had to deal with this on my own, my mom was here thankfully but couldn't stay the whole time until my husband came home from deployment. It was a bit of a struggle having a newborn as well as having the resources to provide for him,” said Faifao Ebebi, who came back from deployment only to deal with the overwhelming weight of how to provide for his wife and his 2-year-old son.

“Choosing between, okay well how much food can we afford this week and how much will next month take us,” he said.  

To relieve some of the financial challenges, the family was informed about Feeding San Diego and their efforts to help our heroes and their families with food insecurity, giving them free access to nutritious meals with their food banks.

With the help of Support the Enlisted Project, a non-profit and Feeding Heroes partner of Feeding San Diego. STEP, which was established in 2012, builds financial self-sufficiency among junior active-duty enlisted members and recently discharged enlisted Veterans and their families by providing counseling, education, and grants to families facing financial crisis.

Through Feeding Heroes, Feeding San Diego provides food to partner with agencies, schools, and mobile pantries.

“We partner with military nonprofits and schools that are actually on base, especially in the Camp Pendleton area and we partner with them for programming that reaches these military families. Especially those that are lower enlisted,” said Carissa Casares, Senior Communications Manager, Feeding SD. 

The common misconception that most people have about veterans and active-duty military is that they have easy access to welfare, stipends and a higher salary– but that's not true.

According to Feeding San Diego, for many active-duty military members, hunger is a reality. 

Help support veterans and active duty military families through the Feeding Heros campaign.

As many as 24% of Active-duty service members and their families experience food insecurity in the United States.

“It’s not that much and we try to budget like everybody else,” said Ebebi.

Which is why the STEP has helped thousands of families, besides daily food distributions the organization also helps families by adding financial services, and wrap-around services if needed. 

“We distribute 35 million meals so it's much bigger than just one food distribution,” said Casares.

In addition to serving military families, the organization does assist anyone who is facing hunger, by having weekly pantry drives.

Watch Live: Feeding San Diego prepares for the holidays, while providing relief to families facing food insecurity (Oct 27, 2022)

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