Donations made by viewers of the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” translated into thousands of meals given to military families battling hunger, with one organization giving out its one-millionth meal to those suffering from food insecurity issues.
As reported by CBS Evening News correspondent Mark Strassmann, “low incomes, frequent moves, and denial up the chain of command” have been the main culprits of a situation where thousands of military families —from NS Norfolk, Va., to Fort Hood, Texas, to JB Lewis-McChord, Wash,, and at just about all military co0mmunities across the country — are currently having a difficult time putting food on the table each day.
“I cannot feed my kids … it is just unacceptable,” stated one military family member.
“How can they focus on the mission when they can’t even survive?” asked another military family member.
Strassmann noted that a study by the Institute For Veterans and Military Families reported that 39 percent of military families faced “hunger issues” at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
“Finally, the Pentagon agreed to identify them and help them,” Strassmann noted.
“Our men and women in uniform, and their families, have enough to worry about … basic necessities like food and housing shouldn’t be among them,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III., about programs now in place to help those in need.
Viewers donated more than $600,000 to help these families since CBS began reporting on this matter earlier in the year.
“I am absolutely humbled, and incredibly emotional, to share with each of you here with us today, that we just officially broke one million meals for military families,” said Delia Johnson, director of programs, Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN), at a food donation event held near Fort Hood.
Strassmann said those meals “were enough to feed 7,000 families.”
“This would not have been possible without the support of CBS shining a spotlight on the issue, and then viewers who really leaned in and provided incredible support,” said. MFAN Executive Director Shannon Razsadin.
“This food makes a huge impact on lives, on their family’s lives,” said Staff Sgt. Nathan Akridge of Army 89th Military Police Brigade, at Fort Hood.
Alluding to viewer donations, Strassmann concluded the report by saying, “These families have our backs. You have theirs.”
As in previous reports, no mention was made about the array of military resale programs to help feed needy military families.
Volunteers load up cars of needy military families with food and other necessary items at a recent food donation event at Fort Hood, Texas,
CBS Evening News screen capture
(Fort Hood Food Drive.jpg)