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JFS Military Assistance Efforts Introduced to Michelle Obama

Many military families are struggling in these tough economic times. To combat this, First Lady Michelle Obama, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, have teamed up to help families through Joining Forces, a national initiative mobilizing all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they deserve.

On Wednesday, I proudly spoke with the First Lady on a conference call she hosted for Joining Forces along with only seven organizations chosen nationwide to speak about outstanding military supportive efforts. More than 1,100 organizations including nonprofit, corporate and governmental entities were part of the audience. As many of you know, JFS has a very active history in supporting military families. In February 2007, the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry started The Military Outreach Project of Jewish Family Service of San Diego in response to a 2006 article describing how some military families were finding it difficult to make ends meet and in particular were having a hard time affording groceries.  To date, we have hosted 77 events to distribute food, diapers, and other supplies to more than 3,000 military families at Camp Pendelton and a separate military housing complex. In addition to items being distributed, a JFS Case Manager is always on-site to provide families with a full needs assessment, linkages to community resources, public benefit enrollment assistance, and financial assistance in the form of self-sufficiency grants. JFS also has provided counseling and no-cost parenting classes to more than 200 military families.  Indeed, JFS has earned a reputation for providing high quality and accessible care in the military community.

Our efforts are particularly poignant several times a year. A few weeks ago, the Hand Up Food Pantry held a special Mother’s Day event for military mothers and their families. I am happy to say that our work was very well received and I wanted to thank you for your ongoing help and contributions. Click here for more information about Joining Forces. If you’d like to volunteer or show your support for the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry, click here.

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