As a company that works closely both with the Department of Defense and the Food Bank community, we here at Mobilize feel a distinct responsibility when it comes to the intersection of our service members and food insecurity. According to a 2020 study by the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1.5 million U.S. veterans are living under the federal poverty line and an additional 2.4 million are living from paycheck to paycheck. With these numbers in mind, the study concludes that food insecurity among veterans is almost double the national average.
Air Force Veteran and Mobilize Chief of Staff Nicole Haun has direct insight:
“Though we take care of our active military members, veterans are often forgotten. As a country we need to acknowledge that we have a high veteran homeless population and the food bank programs are a very important contribution to ending hunger. I am proud to be a part of Mobilize as we help the food banks end hunger.”
While many veterans who are experiencing food insecurity are already receiving federal and state food assistance benefits, they are still facing challenges in utilizing those benefits to their fullest potential. Many food banks are combating this by making their services more accessible by upgrading to digital intake systems such as Houston Food Bank. With an intake system initiated through a text, someone can apply for services from anywhere, eliminating the need for someone to go to a physical location to apply for services, which can have barriers such as time and transportation.
Also, by utilizing a volunteer-led form alternative, not owning a digital device isn't a barrier to entry. All the needed data can be entered by a food bank volunteer and the client will still have trackable data within the Enterprise system to facilitate return visits! These multiple avenues for food bank access maximize flexibility for food insecure people of different technological capabilities.
Here at Mobilize we believe that access and information are the first step in transforming the food distribution landscape into a more equitable space. Particularly when it comes to the food insecurity of our service members we feel as though we have an obligation to transform the various social services to better serve them, as they have all chosen to serve us.
For more information on Mobilize Enterprise and how it can be used to uplift your organization and the people it serves, please reach out to Romeo Augustine for more information.