The stress of COVID-19 is hitting military families in our country particularly hard.
The San Diego based nonprofit Support the Enlisted Project has always had an important mission - helping military families in need. But it’s now becoming critical due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Volunteers spent Saturday handing out food, diapers, hygiene products and movie night care packages. Hundreds of families - one after another - getting loaded up with supplies.
"I appreciate all the people who give me the free food,” said Milanny Kinco, who is a Military Wife.
Tracy Owens, a retired Lt. Commander with the Navy runs these events - she says financial stress is the main problem.
"I was that E3 that had car issues and couldn't afford to fix my car. I had no credit and I couldn't afford to get a loan," Owens said.
Military spouses often have trouble finding work when transferred to new cities - when they do, they're often starting over and more vulnerable to cost-cutting measures like layoffs and furloughs.
military advocates say they're growing increasingly worried about the mental and emotional needs of service members and families too.
"We've seen spouses scared to go out to the grocery store because their spouse is deployed and they're worried if they get sick they won't have anyone to take care of their children,” Owens said.
Rena Rhine - Social Worker
"Even if you're just having a single bad day there are so many resources out there if you just need someone to talk to, just to vent they're there for you,” said Rena Rhine, a social worker.