Charlotte nonprofits work together to feed veterans

Charlotte nonprofits work together to feed veterans

Veterans Bridge Home is joining forces with The Independence Fund and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to provide emergency food packages for veterans in need.

This partnership is in response to the growing need for food assistance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“What’s great about this collaboration is it’s nonprofits working together on a common goal for a group of people that need the help,” said Steven Cole, vice president of advancement at Veterans Bridge Home.

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With 30 volunteers delivering food boxes, the organizations plan to serve 100 veterans.

“We have a really generous community and this food drive is an example of that,” Cole said.

Veterans Bridge Home serves as a one-stop shop for Veterans in Charlotte and surrounding areas. Its efforts are centered around connecting veterans with community resources and veteran-friendly employers with job openings.

The organization worries that the need to support veterans and veteran causes will likely increase, even after the stay-at-home order is lifted.

“We’re going to continue to see a spike in unemployment for veterans,” Cole said. “Veterans after the last recession were disproportionately affected from an employment perspective and mental health perspective.”

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When asked what his hope is for the veteran community during this time, Cole replied: “We hope that they stay safe and healthy and if they need anything to reach out to us. If someone out there thinks that they need help they should reach out to us and let us know because there is plenty of support out there.”

Within the next 30 days, Second Harvest will be packing tens of thousands of food boxes that will be distributed by more than 800 agencies to families in need across 24 counties. The number of struggling families continues to increase, along with their need for food.

Second Harvest has a donation program in place with different levels of giving. Donors can equate their monetary donation to what can be supplied by the food bank.

Here are some of the giving levels:

A donation of $7 will help provide a food backpack for children missing school meals. ​

A donation of $13 will help provide a food box of 12 to 13 healthy staple items.

A donation of $25 will help provide a seven-day nutritionally balanced food box.

Food boxes are filled with a variety of items (peanut butter for protein, cereal, fruit and vegetables). Each box varies, depending on what items the food bank can purchase.

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