Veteran food pantry helps Madison County vets with other services

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ANDERSON, Ind. – A monthly food pantry at the Salvation Army in Anderson is doing more than addressing food insecurity among our veterans.

The pantry takes place at 11 a.m. on the first Fridays of the month. Veterans can pick up free meat, eggs, bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It's all part of what the Salvation Army calls the Operation Veterans' Services fair, which includes a one-stop-shop of several veteran offices, too.

"They're seeing the benefit in being able to come once a month and get questions answered and get things taken care of all at one time," said Shelly DeLong, the social services coordinator at the Madison County Salvation Army.

Veterans have the chance to speak with representatives from the VA office to learn more about their benefits. They can also look for work with help from a staffing agency, and get their blood pressure checked or ask about other health-related issues.

"This is very helpful to me," said William Miller, an Army veteran who served between 1955 and 1958. “It’s saving and getting stuff you probably couldn’t have gotten."

DeLong said the event likely brings in a couple dozen veterans, but the amount of food available could feed close to 100 veterans.

The event will shut down for the summer. DeLong said her office has learned veterans don't show up as much in the warmer months, and she wanted to find ways to get the message out to more veterans about the fair by the time it re-opens in November.

The Salvation Army is located at 1615 Meridian Street in Anderson.

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