After making a visit to the Vet Center on Stevens Ave in Portland, American Legion Field-Allen Post Service Officer, Chuck Whynot, noted, “I realized that their Pantry for homeless Vets was bare! They need food for the pantry!” The food pantry at the Center is small but provides support to all Veterans who are in need. The Center also provides many services to Vets such as: Counseling, group therapy, substance abuse counseling, VA information and assistance, as well as outreach and education programs concerning Veteran issues and services.
|Legion Post Service Officer collecting the drop offs|
Whynot approached the Field-Allen Post and said that he would like to start a program that would allow the Windham Veterans Community to help the Portland Vet Center, by supplying non-perishable items and personal hygiene items to the Center’s Food Pantry. To that end, he suggested that a collection container be positioned at all meetings of the Legion, VFW, Auxiliary and Vet Coffees for the purpose of collecting non-perishable items for the Center. Whynot requested that each organization member consider bringing in an item or two for this program. Chuck would then collect the items and deliver them to the Portland Vet Center Food Pantry weekly. As a further thought, the Post Adjutant suggested that the program be extended to the community at large by placing articles about the program in the local paper.
Within a week, Whynot had collected over $300 and over 1000 units of food items for delivery. This project has truly become a Veterans Serving Veterans Program. At the Vet Coffee, this last Wednesday, two community Vets dropped by and delivered several bags of items for the project. Below is a list of items needed for the food pantry.
Items that the Portland Vet Center Food Pantry can use include: Canned soup/stews, chili, rice, canned vegetables, canned hams, canned tuna, canned chicken, condiments (ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce), beef jerky, peanut butter, jelly, vegetable oil, crackers, Chef Boyardee canned items, cereals, instant breakfast (i.e. oatmeal).
Due to lack of cold storage, the Center cannot accept perishable foods. All food items contributed to the Portland Vet Center Food Pantry is provided for our clients, and any Veteran that is living with food insecurity.