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Military families feels effects of coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 2:00 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 18:10:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The number of military families affected by the coronavirus pandemic is rising, and the outbreak is also impacting some organizations that support those military families in need.

The nonprofit Support the Enlisted, or STEP, usually organizes food and supply and distribution events. But, lately, they say the number of those they serve has tripled because of the pandemic.

Military families typically receive a care package made up of food, toiletries, and other child care necessities like diapers and wipes.

Laura White, a spokesperson for Support the Enlisted, said, “Many of the spouses are underemployed because they moved often so that second income doesn’t tend to be very much. In the military across the branches, the first four pay levels are considered at or below the HUD poverty standards.”

A new study that looks at the effects of the coronavirus on military families reflects that, saying 37% of military spouses have lost their jobs, or are unable to work, or have had their hours cut.

Even though the general public has been ordered to stay at home, as far as the military, service members are still working. Forty-one percent of active-duty service members reporting that their unit continues to train despite exposure concerns.

White said they’re helping some of the military families that have service member who have tested positive for the virus. They are dropping off packages at their homes.

“These families have been asked to shelter in place and not leave their homes or leave base. So, it makes them vulnerable to isolation and in getting the supplies they need,” said White.

For more information on Support the Enlisted, click here.