Kristen sheds light on the significance of Feeding San Diego’s food distribution in partnership with Armed Services YMCA for active-duty military families
Meet Kristen, a stay-at-home mother of three children. Her husband has been serving the U.S. military for over 15 years. They are one of the hundreds of military families Feeding San Diego serves every month through a partnership with the Armed Services YMCA. Utilizing a drive-through–style no-touch food distribution, Feeding San Diego helps to provide nutritious meals to our military families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Kristen never misses a food distribution and is grateful for all the help Feeding San Diego extends to military families, “I have two ten-year-old boys and a seven-year-old girl, this distribution has been absolutely amazing for my family. The drive-through-style is completely stress-free and comforting because I don’t have to go to the store during this scary time. Volunteers place the boxes of food right into your car to ensure a sanitary transaction. I love the selection of food that’s offered, and that it changes every time. I enjoy cooking different meals from the variety of produce we receive and am pretty good about being able to use everything in a way that my family enjoys. The food items that are put together aren’t random; they are well-thought-out.”
When the COVID-19 crisis first hit San Diego, Kristen spent hours making masks for her family, friends, and neighbors, “I was working from sunrise to sunset at my sewing machine making masks. It was tough managing the kids and the house, all the while trying to keep everyone safe.” Kristen has been visiting the Armed Services YMCA food distribution for over a year now and shared how the shift in cadence from monthly to weekly distributions met an increased need amongst families.
Kristen’s sister is a single mom of two who was furloughed by her company for several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and struggled to make ends meet, “My sister was pretty negatively impacted by COVID-19. As a medical masseuse for the elderly, she couldn’t go into work and it was a very difficult time for her. I told her to keep an eye out for food distributions in her area because she wasn’t getting paid.” Fortunately, Kristen’s sister has been able to rejoin work recently and is slowly getting back on her feet.
Grateful to be a part of the U.S. military, Kristen is comforted by the stability offered to active-duty military families, especially during a time when thousands of people have lost their jobs. She often shares the food she receives at the distribution with friends and neighbors, “If I ever have too much food, I share it with someone who is not working or someone who couldn’t go to the distribution because they were sick.”
For the past few months, Kristen has been unable to visit her family in Colorado and hopes that the situation will ease soon. She stresses the importance of Feeding San Diego’s food distribution at the Armed Services YMCA, “It would be very stressful if we didn’t have this distribution. The stability that comes with the food distribution is just marvelous. It helps alleviate the food insecurity so many people are facing right now.”
With an estimated 50 percent increase in the need for food across San Diego County due to the unprecedented crisis, Feeding San Diego is proud to serve active-duty and military families through the Feeding Heroes Program. The partnership with Armed Services YMCA and other distribution partners enables Feeding San Diego to reach out to the high percentage of military families in the county, especially during these exceptionally challenging times.