August 2, 2021

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Free For All Food

Pilot program delivers food to hungry veterans in Florida

The Department of Veterans Affairs has teamed up with Feeding Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and DoorDash to start a pilot program that delivers nonperishable food to veterans.

VA identified veterans in Feeding Northeast Florida’s eight-county service area who needed food delivery services and who take part in the Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, according to a VA blog post.

VA medical centers and caregiver support groups identified additional veterans in the area who were experiencing food insecurity, the post states. After identifying participants, DoorDash drivers began delivering packages of shelf-stable food to them each week.

DoorDash began delivering weekly meals to Navy veteran Celina Larkins.

“I ride the bus to the grocery store, and I can’t purchase the nonperishables that are too heavy to carry,” Larkins said. “The deliveries have helped me get the food that I need to have guaranteed meals.”

Jill Struble, Larkins’ VA dietitian for the past three years, helped connect her with the pilot program.

“These veterans have been through so much,” Struble said. “The first priority as a dietitian is food security. It is hard to educate anyone on how to eat healthy if they don’t have enough to get by. You don’t realize what one bag of food can do for someone’s life. It’s helped with nourishment not only for physical health but for mental health as well.”

The program is currently delivering food to around 220 veteran households each week with hopes to expand.

For more information
On the HUD-VASH program, visit here. 

Click here to learn how you or your organization can help.

Visit here to learn about other programs for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Reach Julia LeDoux at J[email protected]

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