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Written by: Hannah Hyde

For the past few years, food insecurity has become a more prevalent issue faced by an increasing number of families across the nation. The second issue of OneOp’s PowerUp digital magazine explores the impact of food insecurity on military service members and their families and highlights the significant impact various programs and professionals have made on ensuring military families are food secure. 

Nourishing the Homefront

We invite you to read Staying Food Secure Through Life Changes to hear from Dr. Courtney Paolicelli as she recalls some of her work with military families over the past 20 years and the experience she has gained in helping military families become more food secure. 

“I can still see that woman’s face, and I remember her sitting in the chair, holding a little baby and a little toddler running around. It struck me that this is life, the life of the military families, it’s about sacrifice, and it is about putting your needs aside for the good of our country. I guess, up to that point, I had always conceptualized sacrifices being exclusive to the service member himself or herself. It was really at that point that I realized it’s not just about the service member; it’s about the entire family.”

Empowering Communities

In Prioritizing Dignity and Respect, learn about SuperShelf’s person-centered approach to food shelf management and the incredible impact it has had on its customers. The founders of SuperShelf wanted to provide healthy food options for people in need and create an experience that is welcoming and prioritizes dignity, respect and support. 

“Deep in the heart of rural Minnesota, there is a food shelf that has undergone an impressive transformation. The Wantonwan County Food Shelf in St. James, which was once a small 600-square-foot space in a social service building, is now a 6,000-square-foot facility. It has she the drab, unwelcoming interior prevalent in thousands of food pantries across the nation, and has become like a grocery store—a brightly colored, well-organized, and attractive shopping destination supporting local people who find themselves facing food insecurity.

Beyond the Lunchbox

Everyone’s Hurdles Look Different – A True Story From a Military Mom recounts a mother’s struggle to feed her child with a severe sensory processing disorder. 

“Two rice cakes, a bag of baby carrots, a sliced apple (thrown in the trash more often than not), and a v8 Splash were lovingly placed in his lunchbox, day after day. I tried the PB&J. Too sticky. I tossed in an applesauce. Too mushy. Celery? Too stringy. I tried lunches that would make the USDA’s MyPlate rattle with glee. Forget the food pyramid! Every good mom knew colorful food was the way to go; though, not artificial colors. God forbid Red 40 touched his sensory-seeking lips. These attempts, however, sometimes cookie-cut into dinosaurs with notes written more to me than him in words he couldn’t yet read begging him to eat all the things, inevitably ended up in the trash.”

PowerUp is inspired by and celebrates you and your work! We encourage you to flip through the latest issues of this digital magazine from OneOp

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Photo credit: iStock/melitas