When we do polls here on SpouseBuzz we know that we don't always get a huge number of responses -- but that thanks to our diverse readership, the snapshot those answers gives offers a unique window into the military world.
And when we talk about military hunger, our poll this summer showed us that a startling percentage has used food assistance at some point. Here are the poll results:
This doesn't come as a surprise to anti-hunger organization Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger. That group picked up the mantle of military anti-hunger advocacy in 2012, and hasn't put it down since. They believe that military family hunger is an under-reported, under-investigated, under-funded issue -- and something has to be done.
"Mazon for years has been hearing, at least anecdotally, that hunger is far more prevalent among military families than any of the the current meager statistics would convey," said Michelle Stuffmann, a spokesperson for Mazon. "To think that half of the people that responded to the poll needed some kind of assistance, given how expensive life is, it's not surprising."
Mazon has asked the government to change the way they calculate income for food assistance to no longer include BAH payments, since those fluctuate based on location and cost of living. The change would make good sense -- but still there has been no movement to actually put it in place.
This poll showed me that of the people who took it (and you can still take it here, by the way), almost half have actually used food assistance at some point. To me that's incredible.
Congress sees -- wait for it -- better information sharing as being the first step towards a solution. I guess they kind of have a point, despite the fact that we know Congress simply loves reports. If you don't know the expanse of the problem how can you know how to fix it?
And yet, people aren't having trouble putting food on the table later, when we're done figuring out how many of them there are. People -- you, according to this poll -- are having trouble now. Today.
So how do we fix military hunger? Is this a pay issue? An assistance issue? A financial education issue? A family planning issue?
Tell us what you think in the comments.