WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — Food insecurity across the United States, including Wisconsin, has become more prevalent especially with the pandemic.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of food-insecure veterans is also high among those who served in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These veterans are almost twice as likely to be food insecure compared to the general population.
In order to help with that, the Denmark Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6705 has been volunteering and helping those in our community who need it most. In addition to helping other sectors, one of their biggest passions is to help other veterans.
“In our post that’s kind of out motto, we look out for one another and help where we can," said Richard "Sarge" Verheyen.
Every Wednesday volunteers from the Post deliver food to the Green Bay location for the Veteran Housing and Recovering Program (VHRP).
"Veterans are proud people. We’re not going to ask for help unless we really need it. We’re just cut from a different cloth,” Verheyen said.
Verheyen and Jim Gorzlanczyk take time out of their day to pick up food and bring it to this facility aimed to help get veterans back on their feet.
The program provides temporary housing, training, and supportive services to military veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in order to help them obtain permanent housing.
“A lot of times when you have homeless veterans they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. So with this here we provide three meals a day so they never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” said Katrina Currier, Veterans Housing and Recovery Program Site Director.
The Denmark VFW Post 6705 gets food from Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. The organization said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment and food insecurity soared.
“Some of our active duty military, 40 percent of them have had to receive food assistance during the pandemic period,” said Lisa Endl, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Communications Director.
More than 42 million people may face hunger because of coronavirus.
Here is a look at some more of the statistics Feeding America shares. Below you can see the breakdown from local counties across Wisconsin:
If you are a veteran or know of a veteran dealing with food insecurity, click here for more resources. There you will be able to find extra resources that can help, from how to eat healthy on a budget to how to save more at the store.
If you’d like to help those in our community, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin will be helping host “Combat Hunger” a Drive-Thru Food Drive.
The event is this Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. where you can back the military branch of your choice to combat veteran hunger in our communities.
For more information and how to donate click here.
“There’s a relation there that I think the bond never leaves anybody and I hope if someday I get to that point, someone will do that for me. That’d be wonderful,” Gorzlancyzk said.