Military Share Program Helps Feed Local Veterans
For U.S. Air Force veteran Stacy Pancoast, ongoing inflation has had a major impact on her budget.
"We haven't been able to do that much, just family time, going out, going places," said Pancoast. "The price of everything has gone sky-high, so we have to pick and choose what we do."
Pancoast relies on the Second Harvest Food Bank's Military Share program to help feed her family.
Each month, the food bank provides local veterans with 50 pounds of fresh produce and additional groceries.
"I've got a family of four at home and the price of everything has gone sky-high recently," said Pancoast. "It's a great benefit that we're able to come here and they are able to help us all out."
U.S. Army veteran James Winter says the additional food goes a long way.
"It helps me out quite a bit," said Winter. "The way things are going today, the little food we get, it helps us out a lot."
U.S. Air Force veteran Scott McCormick volunteers at the distribution each month to help out fellow veterans.
"Anyone that needs help, help them," said McCormick. "A lot of veterans have a lot of pride. They don't want to ask for it. You see it, you step up, you do it. Just take care of each other."
The rising cost of food and the recent reduction in SNAP benefits have added to the need for assistance.
"From our Military Share's alone, March 2022-2023, we've seen about a 25 percent increase, and then April 2022-23 we saw about a 40 percent increase," said Second Harvest Food Bank Mobile Pantry coordinator Jacob Tarasovitch. "The need is there and I'm glad we can fill it for them."
The Military Share distribution is held on the fourth Wednesday of every month.
The next one will be held at 2:30 p.m. on June 28, at the Second Harvest Food Bank.
This story is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.