Op-Ed: Uniting to Help Feed Hudson Valley Veterans During COVID-19

William J. “Doc” Schmitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for all Americans, including residents in Hudson Valley, New York. As a result, the demand for food assistance has increased at an extraordinary rate.

While food insecurity – which is defined as the lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active and healthy life – is a serious issue impacting millions of Americans, it is particularly concerning for our nation’s service men and women.

Given this critical need, Humana, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and offices within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – including the VA Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships,  Voluntary Service Office, and Homeless Programs office – are mobilizing donors and volunteers for the “Uniting to Combat Hunger” campaign in an effort to help food insecure veterans and their families through this pandemic. By donating directly to VA medical centers across the country, we are able to take a targeted approach to assist our nation’s service men and women and ensure donations go directly to those who are experiencing food insecurity or are at risk of food insecurity, whether it’s providing food, gift cards to local grocery stores or even basic supplies they need to help them during this difficult time.

While our team’s efforts have helped to provide more than 200,000 meals thus far, we invite citizens and organizations to join us in this mission by visiting www.vfw.org/utch and making a monetary donation to a VA medical center near you, such as VA Hudson Valley Health Care System. Every donation will go a long way to help veterans in need.

Now more than ever, it’s important we don’t take anything for granted – including access to food. Let’s work together to ensure no one goes hungry and honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families.

William J. “Doc” Schmitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

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