NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — “I had no idea what I was going to feed my children today,” is something that Shannon Razsadin, president of the Military Family Advisory Network, hears from military families when they pull up to one of her organization’s food drives.
MFAN is no stranger to Hampton Roads, partnering with Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore back in December for a food drive at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk.
“These food distribution events are fabulous, however, we have to figure out more sustainable ways of the military-connected families who need it,” Razsadin said in a Tuesday afternoon interview.
MFAN will work with local agencies to identify the families who are in greatest need, who Razsadin says tend to be junior and middle-enlisted.
The need has been there for years. Razsadin estimates that one in six military families in Hampton Roads are struggling to have enough food, higher than the national average of one in eight families, but she says only now are senior levels of the Defense Department acknowledging the scope of the problem.
Service-connected families are feeling the pinch of inflation at the grocery store just like everyone else.
“We’re really concerned about the families that we serve, and we don’t think that we’ve necessarily seen the worst of it,” she said.
“We’ve been very proud and very honored to work with these incredible partners, and we welcome more to come into the fold,” Razsadin said.
Until MFAN and its task force partners can figure out a more direct way of getting food to needy military families, the food drives will continue. Another one is scheduled for Military Circle Mall on May 21.