Our Pantry for Veterans opened on April 17, 2015, housed in the former pilots’ lounge at the Harry Browne Airport in Buena Vista, Saginaw County, Michigan. Our vision was to provide a place where veterans, Reservists, and National Guardsmen and women who were experiencing financial hardships could come to for help in feeding themselves and their families.
These veterans included those struggling with PTSD, wounded combat veterans, those who lost jobs due to lengthy deployments, those who just couldn’t find work in a struggling economy, older veterans who served during the Korean War, Vietnam Veterans dealing with Agent Orange contamination, in short, VETERANS who pledged their life and honor to serve this nation.
Whatever the reason, these veterans and active duty reservists and Guards found it hard to keep food on the table for themselves and/or their families. This just shouldn’t be happening in this country, and especially not to those who served and are serving in the Military. This Food Pantry was formed to give them a place to come to for help where their privacy and sense of honor was respected and maintained.
What has this past year been like? How has the community reacted and how many have we reached and served?
The short answer is that the community response has been tremendous. Schools, stores, businesses, individuals, have all reached out and donated finances, food, and supplies to support the mission. And each week we hear from more and more veterans who are hearing about us and realizing they can come to us for food help in their time of need.
To date, we have had close to 300 visits to the Pantry since our doors opened in April, 2015. Many of those are repeat visits and quite a few are families with young children. And, as the word gets out, we receive more calls from other veterans seeking help.
As we grow and reach more veterans, we sincerely ask for your continued support as we cannot fulfill our mission without you. We do more than just fill the cupboards for those who come to us, we also let them know that they are not forgotten, that their sacrifice for our nation was not in vain, and that we, the public, do indeed have their back.
Thank you for continuing to make our mission a success!