Surging Support: Charities Aid Military Families With Free Food and Diapers

August 24, 2021Joshua Skovlund
joint base andrews

Service members pick up supplies meant to alleviate financial strain Aug. 11, 2021. Photo courtesy of Joint Base Andrews/Flickr.

In an ongoing push to aid junior service members, military charities recently surged support to Joint Base Andrews.

Held Aug. 11 at the sprawling Maryland base, the Military Market and Enlisted Service Celebration distributed 5,000 diapers and hundreds of backpacks stuffed with school supplies, according to Government Contracts Operations CEO Scott Davidson.

“Wars are fought and won on the backs of the enlisted and we need to ensure we let them know that their service and sacrifice means something,” said Davidson, an Army veteran who co-founded the Military Families Program and BourBiz, charitable initiatives designed to link troops to private and public resources.

At Andrews, that meant hundreds of free children’s books and snack packs, a framed football jersey signed by NFL great Ray Lewis, and 1,000 tickets to Washington Football Team games.

joint base andrews
Volunteers distributed 150 backpacks stuffed with school supplies. Photo courtesy of Joint Base Andrews/Flickr.

“One military spouse said that this event changed her life, as she usually around the 20th of each month has to decide whether to buy more diapers or switch to a cloth diaper because they are out of money,” Davidson said. 

“We made sure she got about 250 diapers.”

More than one in 10 military families describe their financial situation as “not comfortable,” a figure that doubles for junior enlisted troops, according to the Pentagon’s 2019 Survey of Active Duty Spouses.

The report also revealed that 5% of military spouses visited a food pantry to feed their families.

On July 28, the Defense Department kicked off its newest survey tracking military poverty.

joint base andrews
An airman receives free tickets to a Washington Football Team game. Volunteers distributed 1,000 tickets to service members Aug. 11. Photo courtesy of Joint Base Andrews/Flickr.

The Maryland event followed summer Military Families Program stops targeting Texas National Guard families in San Antonio and the Family Readiness Group at Quantico.

To Senior Master Sgt. Jon Safran from the 89th Airlift Wing, partnering with Davidson’s program was a natural and fun way to link the armed forces to civilian nonprofits and nearby communities.

“In order to maintain and establish the culture of the unit or a squadron or a battalion or an entire wing, it’s really, really important to be able to get out and celebrate together, especially with COVID having us all locked down and inside behind masks and everything else,” Safran said.

“It’s great to bring people outside, in a safe environment together, where we can have a stress-free event.”

Recalling his days as a young airman, Safran said his family had relied on baby formula bought through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, a federal initiative best known as WIC.

While troops today receive a “fair and steady paycheck,” Safran said, “every little bit counts.”

Read Next: Military Families Food Market To Launch in DC To Help Service Members Facing Food Insecurity

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
US Launches Airstrikes in Syria After Drone Kills US Worker

While it’s not the first time the U.S. and Iran have traded airstrikes in Syria, the attack and the ...

March 24, 2023Associated Press
The Gift jason dunham
‘The Gift’ Explores the Life and Legacy of Medal of Honor Recipient Jason Dunham

"The Gift" tells the story of the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War. ...

March 24, 2023Mac Caltrider
uss milius
US Denies Chinese Claim It Drove Away American Destroyer

The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said that a statement from China's Southern Theatre Command that it had fo...

March 23, 2023Associated Press
The Speed Project: Vet Team To Run in Lawless, Invite-Only Ultramarathon

For the first time, a team of (mostly) US veterans and active-duty service members will run in The S...

March 23, 2023Jenna Biter
uranium-based ammo ammunition Ukraine UK depleted uranium
A Look At the Uranium-Based Ammo the UK Will Send to Ukraine

The British defense ministry on Monday confirmed it would provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

March 23, 2023Associated Press
Zaporizhzhia Ukraine Russia
Ukraine: Russia Hits Apartments and Dorm, Killing Civilians

“Russia is shelling the city with bestial savagery,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegr...

March 22, 2023Associated Press
cold brew coffee soda float
The Bitter Barista's Cold Brew Coffee Soda Float

Today, we combine the best of both worlds with this indulgent recipe, smashing together our love of coffee and ice cream with a cold brew coffee soda float!

March 21, 2023Heather Lynn
abrams tanks ukraine
US Speeds Up Abrams Tank Delivery to Ukraine War Zone

The original plan was to send Ukraine 31 of the newer M1A2 Abrams, which could have taken a year or ...

March 21, 2023Associated Press
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved