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UPDATE (Friday, 8 p.m. ET): Updated numbers are up to over $300,000.
The Wednesday and Thursday broadcasts of The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell have featured reports report on how military families are facing increased food insecurity and hunger amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
One family CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann spoke to is down to its last $6. Another said, “We couldn’t go a full week without having to get help from a food pantry.”
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families estimates that 39% of active duty service members have food insecurity, and The Department of Defense estimates the jobless rate among military spouses is 22%. Other estimates run as high as 35%.
“I cannot feed my kids,” a mom of 6, whose husband is an active-duty service member says. “It’s just unacceptable.”
While the army offers struggling families financial assistance, Mark Strassmann reports how military culture prizes resilience and asking for help can feel taboo. pic.twitter.com/wuxwbXffoD
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 26, 2021
Apparently Strassmann’s reporting has resonated with Evening News viewers because the head of Military Family Advisory Network called the Evening News team Friday morning to say more than 2,200 donors have contributed $280,000 since the first report aired on Wednesday. They are planning to increase the distribution of food to more military bases.
Evening News will air a update Friday night on this military series, which hopefully will mean more donations (combatmilitaryhunger.org).
A nice story to end the week.