A growing number of military families, especially junior enlisted service members with families in high-cost areas, are having a hard time making ends meet. On July 17, Alaska Rep. Don Young joined California congresswoman Susan Davis to address the need to help military members.

"Our nation's service members are willing to fight and die for our country, and we should be providing them with the funds and resources necessary to ensure that they can feed their families," Young said in a written statement. "That is why I am proud to join congresswoman Susan Davis to support the Military Hunger Prevention Act."

Young's statement was read during a teleconference held by Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.  

"Mazon first became aware of this issue more than seven years ago," Josh Protas, Mazon vice president of public policy, said during the conference. "When we heard from a number of our partners in the field, food banks, food pantries and multi-service agencies said they were seeing an uptick in the number of military families coming for emergency assistance."

Rep. Davis said she's seen the struggles military members are having in her state of California.

"We know that it's a national issue. There are military families across the nation living with food insecurity, and that's where the Military Hunger Prevention Act comes in," Davis said.

According to Rep. Davis, the act would provide assistance similar to the basic housing allowance service members receive. The Military Hunger Prevention Act would create a basic needs allowance to bridge the gap for personnel who don't qualify for benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Davis said the Military Hunger Prevention Act has essentially already passed the House. The National Defense Authorization Act, which the House approved July 12, includes the Military Hunger Prevention Act. The goal now is to make sure it gets through the Senate and conference negotiations.

Families on JBER who may need help, are asked to call or stop by the ASYMCA.

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