Connecticut Veterans Served by CT Food Bank Mobile Pantry

Al Willis, a Montford Point Marine, salutes during a ceremony on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, at the The All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors in Philadelphia. Americans marked Veterans Day on Tuesday with parades, speeches and military discounts, while in Europe the holiday known as Armistice Day held special meaning in the centennial year of the start of World War I. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Veterans Day is just around the corner and the Errera Community Care Center in West Haven helps serve Vets struggling with mental illness, substance abuse disorders, homelessness and aging care. While the vets were getting quality care, one nurse noticed another issue, hunger. Now, the CT Food Bank has partnered with the center to help provide the most basic of needs, food.

At the end of each month, the CT Food Bank Mobile Pantry helps transform a room at the VA Errera Community Center into a grocery store.

Food was a dire need that wasn’t easily discovered. It was finally revealed through a honest conversation between a vet and nurse Chaya Sarah Naiditch.

“We noticed a lot of vets came in hungry. I asked him about it, he said he was on diet. Then later he let me know he was really hungry and didn’t have enough money for food,” said Naiditch.

For six months now, the mobile pantry brings food to the vets at Errera in West Haven. The center learned the need for healthy nutritious food was greatest at the end of each month when there was little money was left after paying bills and other needed expenses. The center also discovered many vets and their families would go hungry until the next check came in.

“Food stamps help, but I have a teenage son that eats like a Sasquatch. The CT Food Bank really helps, without it, things would be a lot tighter at my house,” said US Marine Vietnam Vet Richard Childers.

Dorie Ferguson served in Guam as a member of the US Navy. She now has housing provided through the Errera Community Care Center and she tells News 8 without the CT Food Bank Mobile Pantry, she’d have to fend for herself.

“I’d be out there collecting cans, I guess, trying to get funds for food. Some of us have income some don’t, I didn’t have any income at all,” said Ferguson.

The CT Food Bank says the population of vets they serve now exceeds the general population they serve. If you’d like to help, it doesn’t take much. A single dollar provides two meals.

The CT food bank accepts monetary donations and food donations, as well. And if you know a vet who needs assistance with a job, a service, or just a night of fun then Vets Rock is for them. News 8 is a proud partner of Vets Rock. The event dedicated to helping vets is on Friday, November 11th at Mohegan Sun.

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