Ep. 20 Military Family Advisory Network with Kristen Beattie
Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.
In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Kristen Beattie, Military Family Advisory Network discuss the variety of resources available to military families through their website and programs.
“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.
Ep. 20 — Military Family Advisory Network
Introducing Kristen Beattie and Military Family Advisory Network
Tom and Jodi introduce the episode and their guest Kristen Beattie, Director of External Relations.
- Jodi lists a number of Kristen’s accomplishments and achievements.
- Tom and Kristen then discuss some of their similar hobbies such as reading and traveling.
Jodi then asks Kristen to talk about Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) and their vision.
- She begins by saying their mission is to understand and amplify the needs of military connected families.
- Kristen says they do this through data inspired research, which then allows to develop programing, design and raise awareness, and inform policy.
- She notes that three of the key issues that they address are related to housing, food, and security, and financial readiness.
- She says they are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and it is all made possible through the wonderful sponsors.
Tom notes that Armed Forces Bank took on MFAN as one of their lead organizations during their Days of Giving, and after discussing a conference the MFAN Director attended, he asked what the big take aways were.
- Kristen discusses the conference, noting that their involvement was important to represent military families.
- She notes that through that, they are able to develop partnerships to figure out how best to serve military families.
- Tom and Kristen briefly chat about each of their involvement in community food banks and food drives.
- She says from their research, there are four areas where food insecurity are hitting the hardest: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Hood, Norfolk, and Fort Bragg.
Resources Provided for Military Families by MFAN
Tom asks Kristen to mention some of the financial resources provided by MFAN.
- She notes that through their educational programming, they have experts share practical information around saving, budgeting, navigating Federal benefits, utilizing financial support and grants.
- Kristen adds that recently in partnership with the Association of Military Banks of America they launched Vet Cents, which is designed to help military families around budgeting, building credit, home buying, and investing.
Jodi circles back to the food insecurity, and asks how people can connect to food resources through MFAN, and what would they tell people or organizations looking to help with this.
- Kristen says that they have served over 10,000 families over the last year and a half.
- She notes that for their food distribution events, they always partner with a local food bank, and give each attendee a resource bag that gives they ways to access that help locally.
- She adds that the research is looking at causal factors that lead to food insecurity, and looking to drive long term change.
- Kristen says that during this time of giving, if others feel so inclined, they can donate on their website.
Tom then discusses what housing resources are available through MFAN for families that might be PCS-ing.
- Kristen says they have partnerships with public and private organizations to ensure affordable, equitable, and safe housing for military families.
- She says they convene once a year to share research, offer programing, and collaborate on solutions to improve housing both off and on-base.
Jodi says that also out on the MFAN website is information around health and well-being, and asks Kristen to discuss more about those programs, and what MilMap is.
- Kristen says MilMap is a way to connect military families to their community and support services where they live.
- She notes that you can find information around moving, resources for children, employment support, health and wellness information, etc.
Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.
- Last episode’s Military Minute: What tunes does Argyle play on a limousine tape deck on the way to the Nakatomi Plaza with McClain?
- Answer: Christmas in Hollis by Run-D.M.C.
- This week’s Military Minute question: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity nationwide is at approximately ____%
- Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
- Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.
Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go to www.afbank.com and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.